I’ve spent enough time in small Texas towns to know that after about 6 o’clock, things begin to shut down pretty quickly. Stores that were once hubs of energy and excitement are vacated until dawn, and the brightly flashing neon lights of “mom and pop” eateries are promptly switched off.
Not surprisingly, those who aren’t familiar with small-townliving are often shocked when they find that most businesses and restaurants have been abandoned. They may even begin to feel a sense of hopelessness as they search for a place to rest their weary bones.
In a similar way, the church gets visitors from various points along the spiritual spectrum. Some have never set foot in a church building before, whereas others believe but they haven’t made the decision to fully commit their lives to Christ. These “seekers” of truth need a spiritual compass; a beacon of hope. Because of that, we ought to let our lights shine.
By “our lights”, I don’t mean the church building or the sign in our parking lot, although those certainly garner attention. I mean that we ought to reflect the pure light of Christ. As John 1:4-5 says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
We cannot let our lights shine when we spend too much time inwardly focused because (as the children’s song goes) that would be like hiding them under a bushel. Nor can we let our lights shine when we give in to the tidal waves of ecumenism because that would be like allowing Satan to blow them out. Instead, we must point our visitors and those we encounter on a daily basis to Christ. We do this with our words, our actions, but most importantly, with our love.