For many of us, being a Christian is easy… on a Sunday, in a church building, in worship, in the company of other Christians, etc. Come Monday morning and the other days of the week, however, and all of a sudden we’re afraid of who we are. Why is that?
If we read Matthew 5:14-16 we will do well to remember that Jesus told us: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
As followers of Christ this is what we are: ‘the light of the world’.
In John Chapter 1 we are told that “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”
This ‘true light’ is Jesus, and ‘his coming into the world’ we celebrate at Christmas time.
In verses 4 and 5 we read “In him was life, and that life was the light of all humanity. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
At Easter we celebrate this truth: that not even the ‘darkness’ of death could overcome the ‘light’ (Jesus) who came to bring ‘life’.
John 10:10 in turn reminds us that “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
So Jesus came as true light and life into the world. His light shone in the darkness of his day and even though this brought about his death, he was not overcome by the darkness as is evidenced in his resurrection. Through faith in Jesus Christ his light gives us life in all its fullness through the Holy Spirit, which is why Jesus can call us ‘the light of the world’.
As ‘the light of the world’ we are encouraged (some might even say commanded) to not hide the light of Christ that dwells within us, but to let it ‘shine before others, [so] that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven’.
Perhaps this is why DeAndre Carswell suggests that: “Being a Christian is not just a Sunday thing. It’s not just a wake up in the morning Facebook post either, and then go terrorising people the rest of the day. Being a Christian is 86,400 seconds a day, 1,440 minutes a day, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and 366 in a leap year if you want to get technical. It’s not a thing when it’s convenient for you to pull out, you can pull it out. It’s a lifestyle.”
Sunday is only one day out of a week of seven. That’s just a little over 14% of our lives.
Consider this then: if Jesus came so that we might have abundant life and we only dedicate just a little 14% of it to being what we are, don’t you think we’re selling our faith short?
Let not, therefore, the darkness of the world overcome our light, but let us overcome the darkness of the world with our light; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year from this day forward.
Let us remember that we are the light of the world!
Rev John McKane, minister at Merredin, Mukinbudin, Bruce Rock and Southern Cross Uniting Churches