Saturday March 30, 2013

Day 40 – The Light of Hope

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Matthew 5:14-16

14 Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.  A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”


We don’t think too much about light and darkness these days: we have light at the flick of a switch.  But the imagery of light that Jesus uses here is not lost on us simply because we live in well lit cities. It is because we live in an age of relativism and tolerance.

‘How then do we reach this age with God’s good news?’ we ask.  ‘How can we be the light of the world?’ The context of Jesus’ words in verse 16 gives us the clue: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven…”

‘Everything you are, everything you do,’ Jesus was saying to those who would follow him, ‘must reflect all that I have taught you.  For that is how others will come to see the mind and the will of God.  It won’t happen otherwise.’

It’s an awesome thought. It involves all of us: no-one who calls themselves a Christian is exempt.  Each of us is called upon to reflect the light of God in our lives to the world.  Whether we like it or not, once people know about our faith, they look at us. They want to know whether we are genuine, whether what we profess is true; underneath the cry for freedom, the cry to do things ‘my way’, there is a cry for help.

Jesus is saying that his followers will be responsible for bringing others to worship the one true God. In fulfillment of the words of Isaiah 49:6 we will want to take God’s good news of joy and hope to people we know. Through difference in our lives – integrity and hope – others will notice. Through what we say people will hear the good news, and come to glorify God on the final day. We’re all involved.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it like this: ‘Flight into the invisible is a denial of the call.  A community of Jesus which seeks to hide itself has ceased to follow him.’


  1. How did Jesus’ first followers live out his words?
  2. How does the New Testament refer to the good deeds of the gospel?
  3. What can we do to help family, friends and colleagues see the truth of the gospel?
2 Responses to “Saturday March 30, 2013”
  1. Betsy Shepardson says:

    I still wonder how to reach people who are resistant to religion and tell you adamantly that they are not religious and don’t believe in God.

  2. Stephen Greenwood says:

    These reflections have been a great encouragement to us John and have been simply brilliant and faithful to the word. They should be published as a whole in print or as a PDF. Thank you for all the work you did on them. Just excellent. May the joy of Easter be with you and Judith and all at Christ Church.

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