‘Live your lives openly, reflecting God brightly, so that everyone can bask in the light of your integrity and generous love and give due credit to God who conceived you in heaven…’ (Laughingbird.net)
Today we join together as ecumenical communities for world day of prayer. Entitled ‘streams in the desert’ our eyes turn to Egypt as a focus for prayers for and of the people of God. Associated with stories of Pharaoh’s who treated the Israelites as slaves, we see the figure of Moses emerging with liberation and freedom for a people of God.
But I wonder what does letting your light shine have to do with freedom? Is living your life openly and reflecting God brightly about being the best disciple possible in order to reveal a God that is Lord of our days?
I suspect that in order to let our light shine as described here in Matthew we need to enter into costly discipleship that follows an authentic understanding of what Matthew describes as ‘integrity and generous love’.
These qualities call us to be radical people who challenge social and political stagnation wanting to call into the light the injustice and inequality in the world so that we may be people in community with others who offer God in our hospitality to the stranger, the lost, the hungry…
Let your light shine in Lent invites us into freedom as a calling forth from darkness into light, where all our wounds and scars (self inflicted and not) are revealed with integrity as we reflect the true God within all of us. The God, who has travelled with us during good and bad, continually calls us back into the light in order to welcome us with the greatest gift of love and freedom.
Candles for me always speak of light in darks places and I still remember the very first time I sat in Whitley college in 2006, when we used to have prayer on a Wednesday after morning classes, lead by Dr. Keith Dyer he coined a phrase I use to this day when lighting a candle “May the darkness never over come the light…”
Perhaps as a practice today it’s worth lighting a candle in the darkness tonight, either alone or with someone, to see what the light brings forth.
A candles flames dances upon the faces and walls around us and invites silence and reflection, something we earnestly look for on our Lenten journey towards Easter.