Jesus was speaking to those on whom he would rely to carry his mission after he returned to heaven. At the time, they didn’t realize all that was in store for them. They didn’t know how the trajectory of their lives would be altered, nor could they imagine the influence they would wield as world changers.
He said, in Matthew chapter 5: 14-15, “You are the light of the world.”
Robert Fulghum, author of the book All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, visited an institute dedicated to reconciling Turks and Greeks on the island of Crete. At the end of the visit, he asked Alexandros Papanderos, a leader on the island, what the purpose of life was. Laughter followed as those present thought this was a silly question. But Papanderos considered the question seriously.
After a while, Papanderos took from his wallet a small round mirror, about the size of a quarter. He said, “I was a small child during the war. One day, on the road I found a broken mirror and I kept the largest piece, the one I’m holding now. I began to play with it and I became fascinated with it. I noticed that it could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine; deep holes, crevices and dark closets. I kept the little mirror and as a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child’s game but a metaphor for what I could do with my life; namely that I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design I do not know. With what I have, I can reflect light – truth, understanding, meaning, knowledge – into the dark places in the hearts of men…Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I do.”
As Jesus continued speaking to his future missionaries, he said, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.”
None of us walks into a room hoping to navigate the room and entertain guests by turning off the lights. The absurdity of Jesus’ statement would have been just as clear to his listeners.
“Instead,” Jesus says, “A lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”
Then He states a crystal clear mission statement.
“Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and praise our Heavenly Father.”
It’s a mission statement for our lives too. ServeLouisville offers opportunity to let your light shine through regular service opportunities with families who are willing to live as lights in selected neighborhoods. Will you join us? Sign up to serve at www.servelouisville.com.
Light up Louisville!