Matthew 5:14-16

Fr. John Peck at the Preachers Institute has given us what he calls the New Testament Challenge. Basically you read the entire New Testament during the Nativity Fast period. I have started a little late and I am now playing catch up. But as I read and come across passages that jump out to me I will do a little blog meditation on the passage. I hope you find these meditations enlightening. As always, comments are welcome.

Matthew 5:14-16
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before all, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

This is part of a much longer passage that Jesus speaks before he send his disciples into the world to minister. This is sort of the locker room speech before the big game. All that is missing is the statement, “now lets win one for the Gipper!”

God is the true and uncreated light. In the Hebrew Scriptures light is symbolic of God, the divine law, and Israel in comparison to others. In the Christian Scriptures, the Son of God is called the light. Light is necessary for clear vision and for life itself. Our faith relies on this divine light and we become the sons of light that shine out in this darkened and perverse world.

I like to think of this passage in relation to the Great Commission to GO into all the world… It is interesting that we as Orthodox say we have found the true faith but sometimes are so bad at telling people about it. We tend to be shy when talking about our faith, our faith is something that is private not to be shared.

Troy Polamalu, who plays football for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is probably the most famous Orthodox sports person in the US. Not only for his trademark long hair, but because he makes the sign of the Cross after every play in the Orthodox manner from right to left and not from let to right. This brought some attention on himself and was asked about it and he told them he is an Orthodox Christian. Troy witnesses to his faith very publicly in this way. He is not keep his light under a basket. But he also walks the walk and talks the talk.

Right or wrong people will judge and entire group of people by the actions of one. If people you know, know you are an Orthodox Christian and you act all stupid and what not, then the rest of us will get branded with that as well. I heard someone say once that if you put the Fish Decal on the back of your car you cannot flip people off as you weave through traffic.

Our job as Christians is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. We need to be that light that goes into the dark and perverse world. Don’t hide your light, do what Troy does and let your light shine for all the world to see.

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