Many years ago I studied Anglican spirituality at Canterbury
Cathedral in England. The first night the dean of that
church introduced participants to the program with a candlelight
pilgrimage through the cathedral. At times the only sounds were
our footsteps. Our candles gave off a surprising amount of light
in that cavernous edifice.
We were given time in the catacombs for prayer and meditation.
I reflected then on the light from those candles. We could
see one another clearly in what would have been total darkness.
That is what the light of Christ does within us: It allows us to
see others and to realize they are our brothers and sisters even
in the darkest of times.
Jesus drew on the common experiences of people when
teaching them about the love of God. He could use a single
mustard seed to describe how the kingdom of God grows, or a
farmer sowing seeds in an unplowed field to describe how the
Word spreads and is received. Jesus uses a lighted candle that
brings light to those inside the home to encourage the disciples
to be a light to the world. Just as a single candle can bring light
to a whole room, a single voice in a dark world can bring the
light of hope.
Unlike salt, which can lose its capacity to provide flavor,
the light shines brightly; rather than being hidden, we place
it on a lampstand, and it shines on all within its range. Jesus
calls the disciples to shine forth—not for their own benefit but
to the glory of God. We manifest through our hands and hearts
the light that brightens our souls. Often, the simplest acts bring
others the greatest hope.
God of light, open our eyes to see those in need as our sisters and brothers. Give us willing hearts and hands to touch those as you have touched us. Amen.
Living genuinely out of a deep inner sense of connectedness to the Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) is a common theme for this week’s texts. By living out of this spiritual center, we match our actions with our words and avoid the judgment the prophet Isaiah casts upon the people of Israel. Psalm 112 is a hymn of praise for the blessings God brings upon those who revere and follow. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he urges them to move beyond their irtation with wisdom and to go to the deeper regions of the Spirit, the source of true wis- dom. And, nally, Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, calls his listeners to move beyond the mere words of the law to the deep meaning and intent of the law.
• Read Isaiah 58:1-12. When have you felt strengthened by God for a particular task? How did your light “break forth like the dawn”?
• Read Psalm 112:1-10. Where have you been a light to those struggling in the shadows?
• Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-16. When have you faced unimaginable circumstances and had no words to speak? How did God’s wisdom help you in those times?
• Read Matthew 5:13-20. How do you ful ll God’s intended purpose for you as salt and light to the world?
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