Light. The older I get, the more I need. Whether I’m driving to a new place at night, reading small print on the back of a can, or digging a splinter out of my foot, I need light for direction, clarity, and exposure.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus previewed His departure and the handing off of His role as Light—to the Church.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
Let’s explore His metaphor:
1. Tag—You’re It!: John 9:5 reads, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Now that He’s in heaven, we inherit His job of illuminating God’s truth and love to the world.
2. Take Your Stand: Lifeguards perch on a stand. The stand gives them a different perspective that allows them to work more effectively. Likewise, a lamp on a stand is positioned for maximum illumination. 2 Corinthians 9:11 says, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” Position yourself.
3. Shine Your Light: In biblical times, lamps burned through the night. Light brought safety, but lamps also represented the life and dignity of the family. To let the light go out indicated the home had been deserted.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23
Is anyone home?
4. Expect to Draw Attention: Light attracts. Eyes will be watching. A city on a hill was meant to be seen. It was a welcome sight to a weary traveler. However, in ancient times, hidden lamps were used for evil, like a burglar’s flashlight. They helped the bad guy to see what he was doing after everyone had gone to bed.
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” Colossians 4:5
5. Set the Example: Demonstrate a life lived in relationship with God. People know genuine love when they see it. Have a ready answer when they ask why.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Let’s get in step with Him, discover the works He’s planned for us, and shine our lights that others may see our good deeds and glorify the Father.
- Play a game in the dark like Sardines or Hide and Seek. (Sardines is played in the dark. One person hides in a tight space. As each seeker finds the hidden one, each silently joins her until the last player discovers the group.)
- Play it again but allow each person to use a light.
- Play it a third time. Give two people a light, but the rest must play in the dark.
- Talk about the differences. How did you feel each time you played? What was difficult?
- Talk about how Game #3 reflects the conditions of our world. Do we as believers have responsibilities toward those with no light? What are our responsibilities? What does that look like?
What will you do differently?