The last year has certainly been challenging, but together we’ve illumined the darkness with the “light of the world” (John 8:12).
We’ve learned a great deal in the process, haven’t we? The COVID-19 pandemic introduced new terminology such as “flatten the curve,” “herd immunity,” and “essential workers.”
That last term intrigued me quite a bit. It was coined to describe those people whose productivity is essential for society to survive, even in dire circumstances.
I suppose it was a touch of insecurity and fragile hubris that led me to see if I was listed as an essential worker. I found “religious organizations” were listed—close to the bottom of a very lengthy list. But “religious workers” were not listed at all!
Without reading too much into this secular disregard for those devoted to spiritual well-being, it does resonate with harsh words I heard recently: “If the church was abolished tonight, the only people who would care are those who attend it.”
Communities of faith and their adherents are not highly esteemed by large segments of society—not least because they are not viewed as necessary. In short, this world does not see much need for the church.
But I’m sure that, just as I do, you’ll sharply disagree.
Jesus told His disciples as He began His ministry, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). This was a statement of fact. Something had happened to them as they responded to His words. They had been rescued “from the dominion of darkness” and brought “into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13).
They had new status and a new identity, and they were to recognize this fact and let their light shine (Matthew 5:16).
This light was the breathtaking realization that salvation is freely available as a gift to be received—so that our lives are gradually transformed into the likeness of Christ. God shines into our lives, and we are to ensure that our inner shine is displayed.
But how do we let our light shine?
First, by making sure we’re not putting it “under a bowl” (Matthew 5:15). We are to check that our lives do not hide or contradict the reality of God’s transforming work in our hearts.
Secondly, we put our light “on its stand” (Matthew 5:15)—finding the most strategic environment in which our shining can affect the most people.
And thirdly, we commit to practically living out our new Life in Christ—so that all may see our good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
The shining of God’s work in salvation is intended to broadcast to the secular world realities it does not value and cannot experience in its “darkness.” But the church of Jesus, made of countless points of light, is called to life-transforming ministry.
This is vitally essential work… and as someone who engages in this work with such generosity and conviction, you are, by definition, an essential worker.
Without the financial support and prayerful undergirding of generous friends like you, our work would cease—and a Gospel-deprived world is a spiritually desolate place.
That’s why I’m asking you to pray that many other partners will recognize how essential this work is and play a part in it through a gift to help Telling the Truth continue its ministry.
Allow me to express my deep appreciation for your significant partnership in this ministry by sending you my 2-message series titled Let Your Light Shine. It’s all about what it means to be a light in our darkening world.
Request your copy by clicking below, and thank you for your letting your light shine and contributing to the followers of Christ being “the light of the world.”