By Kyle Rapinchuk
I love the skit guys video “Let Your Light Shine” (http://skitguys.com/videos/item/let-your-light-shine) and the dilemma these guys are going through. It got me thinking about how I never even bother to put up lights in the first place. Why is that? There are two reasons I can think of why people don’t even put up Christmas lights in the first place. Number one, we don’t want to look weird. Have you ever seen that one house on the block that goes all out. Christmas light fanatics are like, “That is SOOOO AWESOME!!!” But others are thinking, “Man, they are WAAAAAAAY too excited about Christmas! What a weirdo!” The second reason, and my reason for not putting up Christmas lights in the past, is that it is too much work to put them up for a month (because I adamantly refuse to put up Christmas lights in September like Branson does) just to take them down again. This video got me thinking: isn’t that so much like the Christian life? There are those who will respond to the message of the gospel with joy, thinking “That is SOOOOO AWESOME,” but then there are those who look at us like we are WAAAAY too into this Jesus thing and frankly a little bit off our rocker. Or, maybe, like this video discusses, we only make a show of following Jesus around the holidays, but then quickly take down our lights so we can blend into the background.
Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:13-16 do not allow us to blend into the background.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, 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 who is in heaven. (Mat 5:13 ESV)
Jesus, and the message of the coming kingdom, is a light in a dark world. That light should not be hidden. In fact, notice that Jesus says in verse 14 that a city on a hill CANNOT be hidden. You can do your best to hide the gospel, but God will bring the light to bear in a dark world. The question is this: will you be the messenger? This passage, perhaps as well as any passage in the Scriptures, destroys the notion of a private faith. It’s not just me and God, and we’re good, so I’ll pass on this sharing the gospel thing, but thanks for offer. That’s not how it works. If we are kingdom people, then we ought to be marked as those who can’t wait to share the message of the kingdom. It’s like giving a flashlight to a guy in the dark; no, actually, it’s like giving him the sun! It doesn’t just light a bit of the way. The gospel of the kingdom is a message that destroys the darkness and reminds us that God is good. He does not leave us where we are at, but ushers us from darkness to light. It’s like Paul writes in Colossians 1:13—“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of his beloved Son”! And all this so we can look good before others? No. So that those who hear the message will respond by praising God and giving glory to our Father who is in heaven.