My friend, Jacques (not his real name), hated Christians – that is, until one day he met Jesus. I don’t know how that happened, only what happened next: Jacques and his wife sold everything they owned and gave the money to the poor, keeping just enough to get them to Denver and pay for one semester of seminary. You should have seen how God took care of that amazing couple. When we graduated, Jacques couldn’t be bothered with the ceremony; he had to get to Haiti as fast as he could to work among the poor. Jacques and his wife left Denver the same way they came, took the first plane to Haiti and started helping people. He picked up some gnarly Haitian disease and died not so many months later. Jacques shone like a welder at midnight.
“You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Not many of us are called to do what Jacques did. But when we follow Jesus, wherever we are, we are meant to light up the place. Jesus talked about acts as simple as a cup of water for someone who is thirsty. Light shines.
It is important to understand Who does the shining. In Jesus’ day, the light from a lamp was fueled by oil. No oil inside, no light. We are filled and fueled by Jesus’ Holy Spirit. Let Him do the shining.