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Friday, September 18, 2015

Today’s Reading | Matthew 5:11–16

“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (NRSV)

This Bible reading has so many things on which to reflect, but the one thing that jumps into my head immediately is standing in front of the church as a little girl and singing

This little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine.
Oh, this little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine.
This little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine,
let it shine, all the time, let it shine.

I especially liked the verse about hiding my light under a bushel and getting to yell “NO!” loud enough for everyone to hear. As a child I knew that my light did shine, because I knew that Jesus lived in my heart. And then I grew older, and my light seemed to fade or the world got much bigger and my light didn’t seem to make much of a difference. But I am not the light. Love is the light. I only have to keep the flame lit. Each act of kindness, each act of compassion, each act of generosity is a beam of light. As one person, my light might only be as bright as a candle, but in darkness a single candle flame can provide comfort and light. Put our candlelights together, and we have the power of a lighthouse. Love is not only a “Light in the City” but a beacon in the world.

Lord, help me to walk in the light of your love. Use me as a reflection of your light, and fill my heart with love so I am able to serve you and all your creation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Written by Linda Gibboney, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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