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Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16  

These words are spoken during my favorite portion of our baptismal service.  The baptized person is named as child of God and marked with a cross on their forehead and then given a candle and told to be a shining light in the world.

These words in Matthew come from the Sermon on the Mount and are part of Jesus’ teachings on discipleship.  The gathered people are first told that they ARE the light of the world and are then encouraged to let that light shine out.  Our call to discipleship - the call on our lives - isn’t just about changing our lives, it is about how God works through our lives to bless the world.  

That light that Jesus taught about is who we were created to be and it is who we truly are when we live into our God given identity.  So many things in life can dim that light or we ourselves can smother it.  The truth behind the children’s song “this little light of mine” (the words for which come from the same section of Matthew) is that we are called to “let it shine.”  We are called to reject the lies and hurtful actions that lessen us, we are called to reject the self-harming choices or harmful self-talk that dim our brightness, we are called to reject the self-doubt or negative influences that prevent us from letting our God given light shine.  

This season of Epiphany - this season of light - remember that you ARE the light of the world.  That is what we are each created to be.  And as we live out our God given identity within this community of faith, our collective light shines even brighter.  When our God-given gifts are shared, when together we live out God’s call on our lives through “joyful service to all people,” the brightness of our light shines before others so that they too can see God at work in the world.  That is our call to discipleship.  It is a call to live into the love God has for us - to live into our true identity as children of God and to let nothing smother our light.  And it is a call that is a blessing to the world as God works through us - shining our light so that others might see and know God’s love for them.   

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…