“You are the light of the world!” says Jesus. That’s a tall order for us to fulfill. We often feel that what we can do is small; the difference we can make is minute compared to the challenges the world faces. It’s easy for a sense of futility to set in, at least for me.
It helps me to think about God and ourselves in more concrete terms: I think of Christ as being like the sun – a pervasive, glorious presence able to light and warm the whole world. The Light of Christ actually gives us life and sustains us; without it the planet would go dark and dead and cold.
I think of human beings as stars in the night sky – seemingly only a speck of light in an infinite field of darkness. But together, we little stars create a different kind of beauty in the night sky. Alone, one star seems forlorn, but seen in the hundreds and thousands, the effect is spectacular. Each of us can be one of those “thousand points of light,” as (I believe) George H. W. Bush put it.
“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.” Each of us is a lamp, and we need to have the confidence to shine our light out into the world for all to see. If we keep it to ourselves, if we stay silent, we help nobody. Last week we had the privilege of casting our votes in a free, open election. What will we do this week to stand up for what we believe?
“So, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Your volunteer time to help less fortunate people, your voice raised in public forums, and your pledge to St. Dunstan’s – these are all ways you can let your light shine…maybe not a light as big and bright as the sun (we only need one of those anyway). But you are one of a thousand points of light, a star in the night sky, piercing the darkness, lighting the way home. JBM