Are You a Light in the World?

My son recently preached a sermon from the Gospel of John talking about the idea that Jesus is the Light of the World (a theme in John’s Jesus story), and he talked about lights in Advent. It was all good, but it got me thinking…

Jesus did say He was the light of the world, but at some point He turned to His followers (including you and me) and said “You are the light of the world.” In other words, “You represent Me. You love like I would love if I was there. You serve like I would serve if I was there.”  So here is my question for all of us. How are you being Light this Advent? Let me explore that further…

  1. How are you being Light as you shop?  How are you treating folks who are shopping with you or serving you?  Is what you are buying and how much you are spending and all of that doing anything to reflect Kingdom values?  You are the Light of the World after all.
  2. How are you being Light at your church?  Are you showing up to worship with your Jesus family or are you “too busy”?  It might be good to step out of the busy and recharge. Are you looking around for people who need people this season and including them somehow?  Christmas can be the worst, loneliest time for some folks. We need to make sure they are cared for. Are you helping out? You are the Light of the World after all.
  3. How are you being Light in your neighborhood, family, workplace, school, etc.?  I guess the point here is we all tend to get wrapped up in our own little worlds and traditions and to do lists at this time of year.  It would serve us all well to lift our heads and look around and prayerfully ask things like, “Who can I serve? Who can I love? Who can I include?  Who can I invite? Who can I tell Good News too? Who can I be Good News too?” I will leave those prayerful conversations to you and your Father, but have them.  Sure it might mean setting an extra place or giving a little of your time or stuff away or doing a little extra baking or making time for a coffee and a Kingdom conversation, but it will be so worth it.  You are the Light of the World after all.
  4. How are you being Light to those with less?  Opportunity abounds this season.  Salvation Army kettles, food banks, shoeboxes, ICCM special projects, what your church is doing, and….the list goes on.  Again, it is pretty easy to get selfish this time of year. Don’t. You are the Light of the World after all.

That is just a starter kit.  I am sure you and God can do better.  The point is, we need to take this being Light thing seriously.  It wasn’t just an idea or a suggestion. It was a call and we would do well to step into it.  

I am not trying to ruin anyone’s Christmas.  Really. In fact, I think if we take this all seriously we will have a better Christmas than we imagined.  We are the Light of the World after all. Shine this Advent.       

Marc McAlister

Director of Leadership Development and Church Health, the Free Methodist Church in Canada