If you use a search engine with the keywords “let your light shine” you will find 238,000 hits. If you then search “darkness” you’ll get a shocking 75,900,000 hits. We, as Christians have much to do. Those numbers – so sad. But, look at Matthew 5:16 and we have our commission! Reminds me, too, of my days as a church school teacher. I first taught 5th grader and I myself was just in the 9th or 10th grade at the time, but Mom was in charge and knew what I could do, so there I was. Taught ’em the Ten Commandments. It was priceless because as I tried to break them down to examples and dialog that they could understand and broaden things so they’d see there’s more to it than perhaps they thought, they’d then ask me if “when Mommy does this, isn’t that again this commandment?” Later in another parish when I was in my twenties i taught the first and second grade and they were so adorable. They were also drawn to the most “goolish” (is that a word?) parts. Interesting comparison though. The little kids – the 1st and 2nd graders – they had such strong faith. Oh, yes they could be fresh and all but usually they were fighting to see who sat next to me as I “told stories” to them. There was a pure faith so clear in them, but less evident in the 5th graders I’d taught before.
This ties into the “let ur light shine” as our commission as Christians. We are born naked and we’re full of God and full of faith. As we are “exposed” to the world, our nakedness becomes an embarrassment and our faith becomes weakened by the world and the fact that it’s impurities take away our trust. It’s our job, as Christians, to enable folks to be in the world but to restore them to their earlier faith by reminding them that they are not OF this world. That’s really all there is to it. It really is rather simple. Or, to state it another way, check out Isa 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.”
We make it harder than it is. WE do. It doesn’t have to be.