“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light. Take heed then how you hear; for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” (Luke 8:16-18)
Lamps in the ancient world served a vital function, much like they do today. They enable people to see and work in the dark and to avoid stumbling. The Jews also understood “light” as an expression of the inner beauty, truth, and goodness of God.
We are reminded in today’s scripture that God’s grace not only illumines the darkness in our lives, it also fills us with spiritual light, joy, and peace. Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how his disciples are to live in the light of his truth and love. Just as natural light illumines the darkness and enables one to see visually, so the light of Christ shines in the hearts of believers and enables us to see the heavenly reality of God’s kingdom.
In fact, our mission is to be light-bearers of Christ so that others may see the truth of the Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – and be freed from the blindness of sin, ignorance, and deception.
Often, phrases like “light-bearers” seem strange or a phrase that should be used for others. That brings us to the need to listen more intently to God.
If we listen for his voice, we begin to understand that God wants us to know that our lives will unfold not as we dream them but as God dreams them. Scripture calls us to trust, to open our hearts and allow Christ to make his dream for us a reality.
All of us can think of things in our lives we had thought would be different, things in our family, things in our business, things in our relationships. There were successes we never achieved and dangers that we did not avoid. But all those expectations are secondary. What is primary is that Christ has called us and we are to follow him.
We can only follow if we learn to listen. We need to hear more.
At the end of a busy day, when our mind is filled with concern and anxiety, Jesus asks us to listen to someone who loves us: to ask our eight-year-old how was day camp; to speak to our teenager about a friend who’s been hospitalized; to ask our spouse what was the best part of the day.
As we listen to the people who love us, we become grounded and our anxiety is reduced. We all know that we have a responsibility to worship God. Jesus asks us to listen: to listen to a fellow parishioner who greets us or shares a problem with us, to listen to the music that moves us, to listen to the Word of God as it addresses us. Because if we listen, we will hear the voice of Christ, and that will remind us to whom we belong. That will give us peace.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, you guide me by the light of your saving truth. Fill my heart and mind with your light and truth and free me from the blindness of sin and deception that I may see your ways clearly and understand your will for my life. May I radiate your light and truth in word and deed to those around me.”
There is great freedom and joy for those who live in God’s light and who seek his truth. Those who listen to God and heed his voice will receive more from him – abundance of wisdom, guidance, peace, and blessing. Do you know the joy and freedom of living in God’s light?