14 “You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.
15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house.
16 In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise God.”
Imagine we are the light in this world! That is the calling of each and every one of us.
I was listening to Tapestry the other day on CBC radio and they were talking about light. And I realized that I just kind of take it for granted – that if there is light in the world, if there are spaces of hope, if there is good done in our communities then it’s got to be people doing it – God has no hands but ours- hence we are the light. I take it for granted that Jesus is light – The Light to help us on our way, to illuminate our path, to bring clarifying light and hope into our darkest times.
I just thought: well, we do our best and our light will shine – no worries – sometimes it shines brightly, sometimes it shines just a little bit but at the end of the day it’s all our light together that really counts. Nothing is really dependent upon me, is it?
In the Tapestry interview – there are a couple of ideas that stuck with me. Someone said that some people are opaque, some people shine and some people are translucent.
Some people are opaque and the light hardly gets through, some people just shine with light, with joy, with life, with creativity and there are others who are translucent. Translucent – like a stained glass window, the light shines through them!
I never thought of light that way. I never thought of people that way. I never thought of myself that way.
Of course, that makes things just a little bit harder because it’s not just that some people are opaque and others well just shine and others are translucent by nature or by accident after all we are all lights, we are all potential light.
So I had to think “What makes people opaque? What allows people to shine and what magic happens that people are translucent?”
I think it means that we have some say in the matter – do we become more opaque when we forget to dust ourselves off, when we hide our light, when we dim the illumination with the choices we make.
Conversely do we shine brighter with the choices we make, can we make the choice to shine brighter? And if we shine brighter what happens around us? I’m guessing that not only do things show up we didn’t even know were there because of the shadows but that people are affected maybe infected by the brightness and their light shines a little brighter, too.
Jesus, I think, must have been translucent, and the saints through the ages from ancient to now, in all shapes sizes, colours, genders and even religions: those people whose very being becomes not a person who shines light but a person who allows the light of God to shine through them.
As we stand on the threshold of this very new year at the end of this very different, confusing and difficult old year we get to choose how our light shines.
May your new year be filled with light, may your heart be filled with joy and may you know God’s blessings for you.
You are the light of the world! Shine!
Holy One, God of Mystery
Thank you for your great love and blessing over our lives.
You have brought us through difficult times this past year
and for that we thank you.
You have been with us when we couldn’t be with each other.
You have comforted us when we faced what we couldn’t control.
You have given us hope when all around us there was fear.
Our hearts are filled with gratitude as we also remember times of joy and love and laughter.
Then too you were with us.
As we look toward a new year, a new beginning
We ask that we would walk in your blessing and goodness
That your face would shine on us.
That you would open the right doors for our lives and for our loved ones, that you would close the wrong doors and protect us from those we need to walk away from.
Give us a heart of wisdom to hear your voice
Help us to be your light in our world
To be the people you have created us to be
To share your goodness and love with others
Following in the footsteps of Jesus
This we pray in Jesus’ name