“The Art of Neighboring: Motives, Methods, and Baby Steps”

On April 22, Pastor Jim preaches on Matthew 5:14-16.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 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. 16 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.”

“Won’t let Satan blow it out…”

I remember sitting uncomfortably in Sunday School assembly, a now extinct gathering, wearing my tiny blue suit with clip-on tie and singing about the “little light of mine” that I promised to let shine. I didn’t understand a word I was singing anymore than I understood the “fountain flowing deep and wide” or the “home in glory land that outshines the sun.” I certainly had no clue where “way beyond the blue” was.

I understand now, at least in theory; still it’s worth pondering. What is the little light that you and I have to shine? Does it exist? If so, what does this light do?

Jesus indicates that if allowed to shine, this light we have will be seen by others who will notice our good works, and they will give glory to God. Hmmm.

Jesus says two things about light in the Gospels. In John Chapter 8 he announces that he is “the light of the world.” He uses the same words to describe what we are in Matthew Chapter 5. He is the light of the world, and we are the light of the world. Light is a metaphor for illumination and for holiness. It breaks through the darkness, revealing the truth and the direction a person’s life should take.

So, how are you doing in the light business? Are you like a candle that draws others like moths to a flame? Are you a halogen light that pierces the darkness with sharp white light, revealing evil? Is your light strong or sputtering?

One thing about light is that it cannot be ignored by the darkness. Light a match in the depths of Inner Space Caverns or the bowels of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, and for the briefest moment it will illuminate the walls and beat the darkness.

The art of neighboring requires light bearing. We’re going to think together about this on Sunday.

By the way…do you have a light? Do you need one?