“How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” – William Shakespeare
Isaiah 58: 6-9a (NIV)
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”
Matthew 5: 13-16 (NIV)
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Comment: In the same speech in which Jesus calls his disciples to “let their light shine,” (the Sermon on the Mount) he also criticizes people who showcase their good deeds (Matthew 6) for personal glory. It shows just how much Jesus’ words are to be understood in the situational context. In Jesus’ teachings, doing good is only truly good if we do it for the right reasons.
Holy God, let the candle which you lit in us shine today! Let it do some good and lift up some people. Let it illumine your light in this world, we pray this in the name of the one who is the Light of the World. Amen.