Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
Our family likes to go camping. My personal preference is camping at state parks. We have some beautiful state parks here in Minnesota. My wife and my girls insist that we find a campsite that’s close to the bathrooms for obvious reasons. Which almost always involves someone at some point making a trip to the bathroom in middle of the night in the dark. Campgrounds can be really dark late at night. There may be some very low fires which have almost burnt out for the evening. On occasion someone will have Christmas lights hung on the canopy of their camper in the middle of July for mood lighting. For the most part though, campgrounds are very dark places at night. Except. That really bright sodium vapor light illuminating the entire wall of the bathroom building. A lone beacon of hope in an otherwise dark and scary place.
The light surrounded by bugs that are captivated by it’s illumination. And so are you. You are relieved that you have this beacon of hope to guide you to the bathroom. Now you only have to worry about stumbling on something that’s laying on the ground or the occasional hungry black bear (just kidding). Even if you have something blocking your direct line of site to that bright light on the wall of the bathroom, you can still see the effects of that light. Letting you know that it’s there for you to home in on.
So are you that light on the outside of the bathroom wall shining for everyone to see? We all know the world is a dark and scary place that’s full of sin. Jesus is asking us all to be that light that people can see. To be guides to the promised land. Be a light that can be seen everywhere, not for your own glory and satisfaction but for the Lord’s. Shine and be boastful for Jesus. Share with other’s what Jesus has done for you. What has Jesus done for me? He’s given me the grace to overcome some pretty awful things in my life. He’s given me hope in an already dark and sinful world. He’s given me people who have been lights on the hilltop (or the bathroom wall) to guide me, and show me the path to Him. Jesus never told us to keep our faith private and not share it with others. People don’t want to be rejected anymore. They don’t want to hear “well that’s good for you, but leave me alone”. Or “don’t push your religion on me, I’ll do things my own way”.
Well, Jesus never told us to push Him on anyone. In fact, when people came to him and he told them what he expected of them, many left. Jesus didn’t change His teachings to get them to come back. He just said OK, have a nice day. No, we aren’t supposed to push our faith on anyone. We are to share it, answer their questions, and lead them if they so choose. If they don’t, well then have a nice day and move on. But if you don’t try, then you aren’t living out your mandate as a Christian. We are all called to evangelize others. We are all called to be that light, and to live in that light so others can see what Jesus has done for us.
If we all do that, our campgrounds will be as bright as the sun.