14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. [Matthew 15:14-16]
This isn’t the usual scripture quoted when we talk about sharing our gifts with others, particularly in the church. This teaching from the Sermon on the Mount does speak to a very common tendency of many. We tend to think we don’t have any light to share – we are just ordinary. Others can sing. Others can organize. Others can do the yardwork. Others can serve on committees. Others can do it, because I just have those abilities.
Yet, many of us do things all the time, both in our work and in our home. Many of us have accumulated a lifetime of learning and observing that is invaluable in decision-making. We are capable of being light-bearers. We have to be willing to answer these mini-calls of God to serve.
The scripture passage is from The Message Bible. Its contemporary language speaks to me. We are to be God-colors in the world. We can’t all be “red” or “yellow” or “blue”. But together we can be a rainbow! God’s light will shine through us. All the small things we do around the church to make our community stronger is making the witness of the church public. It’s not time to shut the doors and turn off the lights! For Greenbelt Community Church to fulfill its calling, all need to let their light shine.
This scripture also reminds us to “keep open house, be generous with our lives”. It doesn’t say wait until you are older, then participate in the working of the church. It doesn’t say retirement age means checking out of participation in the working of the church. There are no age limits. There are changes in what we do and how much time we give. But we are called to be light-bearers so that God’s generosity to all people can be experienced.
There is a sign-up sheet in the social hall waiting for your name. If you aren’t sure what you could do specifically, but are willing to give say one hour a month (or more), talk to our moderator, Carol Bellamy and we can help you find your match. Let’s be Light-Bearers.