You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
Wednesday evening, offering the closing prayer after a really good discussion with my men’s mid-week covenant group, I threw out a phrase I wish I’d written down immediately it came out of my mouth. I can’t quite capture the moment this morning, but it was something along the lines of, “I pray that – as they live as disciples of Jesus – these men will leave trails of light and grace as they make their way through each day….”
“I pray that – as they live as disciples of Jesus – these men will leave trails of light and grace as they make their way through each day….”
It’s a great concept, and it made me think about my grandchildren (these pictures are from this week), and the way they shed light so naturally; David and Beks are radiant beings, and when you see them you can’t help but smile.
What’s remarkable about the kids is that they don’t think about it. They don’t say things to themselves like, “What can I do to light up this room when I walk in..?” or, “If I tell the joke I used last week they’ll be sure to like me…” No, they just shine. It’s like they don’t know any better.
Obviously we’re not kids any more. And my roomful of guys own a wide variety of concerns, responsibilities, challenges, work-pressures, and more. But we are also a bunch of men who are dearly loved, blessed, light-infused Children of God. Sometimes just realizing who we are can be enough for the light to begin to flow.
We are also a bunch of men who are dearly loved, blessed, light-infused Children of God.
Paul, in one of my favorite passages from Philippians, describes the imperative to shine in this way:
God is the one who enables you both to want and to actually live out his good purposes. Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, innocent children of God surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt. Among these people you shine like stars in the world because you hold on to the word of life. – Philippians 2:13-16
Maybe being a disciple of Jesus, or a follower of the Living Way, can also be well-described as “leaving a trail of light wherever we go,” or “shining with authenticity and integrity”? I’d like to think so.
God is the source of light, Jesus is our means of grace, the Spirit is our companion and guide. So my prayer for each one of you, as you read these words, is that you will live as a disciple of Jesus, that you will be blessed, and that you will leave a visible trail of light and grace as you make your way through this and every coming day.
So shine already. In love, and because of love – DEREK