Let your light shine
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:16
As I reflect on our text today, our national anthem rings in my ears. The late Timothy Gibson was inspired when he penned words of adoration, inspiration and encouragement for us as a people: “Lift up your head to the rising sun, Bahamaland; march on to glory, your bright banners waving high. See how the world marks the manner of your bearing! Pledge to excel through love and unity.”
Really, musically, our anthem is a grand march of pomp and circumstance. It’s a call to national attention for law, order, decency, dignity and respect. Most of all I love the call of alert that puts us on our guard: “See how the world marks the manner of your bearing!” In other words, a hint to the wise is sufficient. Are we aware that the world is watching us as a people? Our habits are in essence our culture, because anything that is done over and over and over again, becomes culture.
I believe that if we are not more careful, we will lose what we have; and as the Bible tells us, our treasures, our heritage, our natural assets, our opportunities, our culture, held in earthen vessels of the stroke of a pen, can be taken away from us because daily the world is taking serious note of our lifestyle operation. But thanks be to God we still hold to the light, and no weapon formed will prosper.
In our text today, which is a portion of the Sermon on The Mount as given by Jesus, he is telling his disciples that they have worth. It does not matter where they came from and their social or financial status, once they are his followers, they are now the “light of the world”. There is spiritual prestige given to them. Names and titles hold significant importance and many yearn for such to be conferred upon them. Titles set you apart and enhance your social empowerment.
But Jesus is telling his disciples that to have the title and not be the title does not bode well for communal and spiritual harmony. Yes, Jesus says that you have the title, which gives you power and authority, but you must not use it for the sake of selfishness, but so others may come out of darkness into the light. Light of financial attainment; light of educational achievement; light of self-esteem; light of pride and wellness; light of environmental excellence; light of spiritual and moral fulfillment; light of grace, graciousness, kindness and forgiveness.
Know that as children of the most-high God, we are to dispel the darkness of the evils that are plaguing our land by letting our lives be an example. We cannot say that we are light and turn our light away from darkness, but penetrate and pierce the darkness so sinners can become saints of God.
Yes, we will let our light so shine before men that they will see our good works, and glorify our father which is in heaven. Praise the Lord!