“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Let Your Light Shine

(Please read Matthew 5:14-16)

January 1

On this New Year’s Day, it seems appropriate to think about letting our lights shine — and shine — and shine throughout the new year. And our text is a good place to learn about switching that light on.  Recall that Jesus himself is “the light of the world” (John 8:12), and our light can be but a reflection of his own.

But still our light is important, for we live in a world that, in a spiritual sense, prefers darkness. Jesus recognized that lamentable condition with these words: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19, NIV). It is this love of darkness that often causes people to object when the light of Christ is allowed to shine in their presence. Like roaches and other creatures, they can’t stand the light and hustle back into the darkness.

But Christ’s disciples must go on shining anyway.  You may agree that this is a good principle but wonder how, exactly, Christians go about shining the light of Jesus onto others. The answer is in the last wonderful sentence of our text: Our light shines so people can see our good works and glorify the Father, and it is our good works that make our light shine.  This is such a simple, yet profound, process! If we only know what good works are, we’re ready to make our lights glow –- and almost anybody can recognize a good work when he or she sees it. We hope your light, and ours, will be brighter this year than ever before.

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