“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Physical life would be impossible without light, which is the sole source of food generation for all living organisms on earth. Practically every living being depends on light for food and energy. Plants require light to synthesize their own food materials to live and grow. From these plants, animals get their required food materials and the energy they need to live. So, plants depend on sunlight for their food, and animals depend on plants, and we depend on plants and animals for food.
Light is also necessary in order to see, recognize colors, and maintain a livable temperature. Without light there would be no heat; and without heat, the earth would freeze. We need light to dry out the soil, but also to evaporate the water so that we can have the rain that we need to have water to drink. Light is necessary in many different ways to sustain life. Without it, we would die.
It was not by accident that Jesus chose to use the metaphor of light when giving His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. As He addressed His followers, He wanted to make one thing clear: We are to walk and talk in such a way that we point people to Jesus so that they, too, might glorify God in heaven. It is not our job as Christians to convert people, or to make bad people good or good people better. It is our purpose, in all we do and say, to point people towards Jesus and His finished work on the cross.
You see, not only does the earth need light to survive physically, but people also need the light of Jesus to live spiritually. When Jesus told His followers, “You are the light of the world,” that was a huge compliment! And He is telling us the same thing today. If we are the spiritual light of the world, that means we are a life-giving presence on this planet. We are carriers of hope and givers of grace…not because of anything we have done, but because of what Christ is doing through us.
Dear Father, I want to be a light for you. I want my life to shine brightly so that it illuminates for others the path to following you. Help me to live as a light for your glory. In Jesus' name, amen.