23rd May 2020

Let Your Light So Shine

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14 (NKJV)

Many years ago, travelling across France, I had been driving for miles and miles through level featureless countryside, when suddenly, off to my right, I saw a large hill rising incongruously from the flat landscape around it. Although it was some distance away, I could see the buildings of a small village or township dotted around its sides and right up to the top, where stood a large building – possibly a fort or church. I have never been able to work out where it was or find it on a map, but at the time the above scripture was brought instantly to mind.

Then for some reason, as I dwelt on this for a moment or two, it occurred to me that in biblical times there would have been no street lighting, so at night, any light that was emitted from that ‘city on the hill’ must have come from inside the rooms of the houses.

The analogy was not lost on me, and it seemed that here was a powerful lesson for all of us as Christians. It is easy to think that our responsibility to ‘let our light shine before men’ (verse 16) is about what we do and how we behave outside the home, but if our “light” is not shining at its brightest upon those closest to us within our home (verse 15), then we could be classed as hypocrites. It is sad that the people who are closest to us, can sometimes be the people who see us at our worst.

When our children married, my earnest prayer for them was that their lives and their homes would be filled with laughter and love. There is an old saying that ‘charity begins at home,’ and if the light of love does not burn brightly within the walls of our homes, how can we honestly shine as lights outside the home?

The light we are to emanate relates to ‘good works’ and the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control. As the scripture says, the source of those beautiful qualities is the Holy Spirit, which is a gift from God (Galatians 5:22-23), but the exhortation in verse 25 is to live and walk in the Spirit, and that applies to all of us. Let’s respond to that exhortation and let the light of the Holy Spirit within us shine out as a blessing to others, both inside and outside our homes.

Dear Heavenly Father, we know that in love You have poured out Your Holy Spirit into those You have called into your service. Please help us to respond by emanating the light of Your love in us, both to those within our homes and families, as well as outwards towards others. In Jesus Christ’s name.

Study by Richard Whiting

About the Author:
Richard Whiting is a retired Elder of the Worldwide Church of God UK living in Dumfries, South West Scotland. Richard served as an Elder in the Sheffield congregation for 25 years before retiring and moving to Dumfries, where he attends a local congregation.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Irvine
Woodlands Centre
16 Kilwinning Road
KA12 8RU

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11 am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Muir
Email: info@wcg.org.uk
Tel: 01858 437099

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