“This little light of mine, I’m goin’a let it shine; This little light of mine, I’m goin’a let it shine; This little light of mine, I’m goin’a let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let is shine.” (This Little Light of Mine, an African American Spiritual, ELW 677, verse 1.)
This week, we hear Jesus say to his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp, puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” (Matthew 5:15) How often do we hide our light under a bushel basket? We take the light of Christ, and we keep it to ourselves. Jesus, the True Light, calls us the light of the world. He says not to hide it. But we do. We hide the light of Christ under money, comfort, and power. We hide the light of Christ because we are afraid of what others might think of us. We are afraid to be uncomfortable. We are afraid to let our light shine to those who do not see the light.
We fall into the habit of only letting our lights shine when we attend worship on Sunday mornings. We think of worship as the one moment in the week to shine, shine, shine. The Lord calls you and equips you to be the light of the world that shines in all places of darkness. Jesus shines the brightest when he is killed on the cross. In the beginning, God created the world out of the darkness. In the darkness, the light of the world breaks forth like the dawn. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus makes you the light of the world. The Holy Spirit calls you and equips to shine by practicing justice and peace.
6“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear;” (from Isaiah 58:1-9a)
God the Father creates you and sustains you. Jesus Christ saves you through his death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit gives you light and life. God loves you and shines light through you. God loves you and all people so much that the Father has sent the Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you and for all people. Jesus, the true light, shines on you and through you. The Holy Spirit calls and equips you to be the light of the world. You shine the light of love and freedom to all those in need. You are the light of the world.
Pastor Tyler Hoey, February 2023