Friday, February 7, 2014
Back in January, I took my snowshoes off my office wall and made my way to northern Wisconsin. It was good timing. My snowshoe trek in the woods helped me appreciate the clarity that can come with winter days. The sun and clear skies made the fresh fallen snow glisten. Being the first to step into the deep powder brought warmth of gladness.
On these cold winter days we continue to live into the words of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospel of Matthew. We, like the first disciples, learn that in following there is always room for discovery and growth. So consider… “No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” - Matthew 5:15
In his insightful instructions on the mountain, Jesus offers some important reminders like, “You are the salt of the earth,” and “You are the light of the world.” Notice the present tense in these straight forward statements. There is nothing of ought or should in the statements but what is already true. We are salt and light. Now there is a gift to be lived into!
In the reminders is the commissioning.
Amy Oden in her comments on the text suggest we think about the nature of the “bushel basket.” Might the “bushel basket” Jesus speaks of be seen as anything that can hinder the gift of light and keep it from doing what it is meant to do – to shine forth? A “bushel basket” might be a feeling that we don’t have much to offer or holding onto the good old days or making unhealthy comparisons that make us feel inferior.
Belonging to community helps us to get the light up on the “lampstand” so the light can do what the light is meant to do. In each other’s company we are encouraged to embrace the light that shines through each of us. In the life of the church we get to see just how far light shines forth because we know its true source – the very love and presence of Christ.
And what a radiant light it is!
Pastor Randy Olson