Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
In March 2020, while walking his dog in New York City’s Central Park, Whitney, a retired financial expert, saw trucks, stacks of tarps, and white tents, each bearing a cross and the name of a charity he’d never heard of before. When he discovered the group was building a field hospital for his fellow New Yorkers with COVID-19, he asked if he could help. For weeks, despite differing faiths and politics, he and his family pitched in wherever they could. Whitney stated, “Every single person I’ve met has been a genuinely nice person.” And he applauded the fact that no one was paying them to “help my city in our hour of deep, deep need.”
In response to the tremendous needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, unlikely partners in service were brought together, and believers in Jesus were given new opportunities to share Christ’s light with others. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His followers to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds” (Matthew 5:16). We shine Christ’s light by letting the Spirit guide us in loving, kind, and good words and actions (see Galatians 5:22–23). When we allow the light we’ve received from Jesus to shine clearly in our daily lives, we also “glorify [our] Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
This day and every day may we shine for Christ, as He helps us be salt and light in a world that desperately needs Him.
Where do you see an opportunity to share hope and light with others today? When has someone been light to you in a difficult time?
Jesus, help me to shine Your light in all I say and do.
The New Testament uses various metaphors to describe the responsibilities of believers in Jesus. For example, Paul says that as good soldiers of Christ, we’re to endure suffering and to “please [our] commanding officer” (2 Timothy 2:3–5). As athletes, we undergo strict training to compete according to the rules (1 Corinthians 9:25). In Matthew 5:13–16, Jesus used two everyday items—salt and a lamp—to illustrate the impact we can have on the society we live in. Salt is a preservative, a flavor enhancer, and a thirst stimulant. We’re to bring the salt of preservation and joy to a bland, tasteless, and otherwise decaying world. A lamp gives light that enables people to see and to give direction. The lamp must necessarily be placed in a conspicuous position for the light to be effective. We’re to be the light of salvation to a world darkened by sin.