Everyone appreciates light, whether it is daylight or artificial light. Light illuminates the world around us and help us see things more clearly. My kids will not sleep without their night light and until recently I (at my age) was not comfortable sleeping without one! And if you live or have lived in any region where electricity is rationed, you cherish light.
In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus called His listeners and followers “the light of the world” and proceeded to explain what that entailed.
“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.”
We who are in Christ ARE the light of the world and since light cannot be hidden, people who come into contact with us must see and benefit from our light.
Jesus likens being light to a city built on a hill. It is up there for all to see and it cannot be missed by anyone. It can be seen from afar meaning that people do not need to come close to us to see our light.
Our Lord goes on to liken us to a lamp. The lamp by its nature can only light up its immediate surroundings so by the lamp analogy Christ is telling us to let our light shine in our immediate surroundings-home, neighborhood, school, work.
Jesus then tells us the purpose of living as light-so that people near and far will see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven. Letting our light shine therefore means being good, kind, patient, loving, selfless, generous, seeking peace over strife, basically living as Christ lived so as to bring glory to our Father.
Light always attracts people, light stands out, light gives comfort. You cannot claim to belong to Christ and not be a light in a dark world. If you live, speak, dress, act the same way as family, friends, colleagues, loved ones, acquaintances who do not know the Lord, then you have missed the mark. You must stick out as a sore thumb among them and not just blend in with the darkness.
We must reflect Christ to all whether they are far off or whether they live with us, play with us or work closely with us. May the Holy Ghost help you and I to light up our world on a daily basis.