Jesus bids us shine – a sermon on Matthew 5:14-16 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
In the heart of the business district of Dallas, Texas, there’s a unique but slightly weird-looking building. If you look at this grey-white concrete structure that stands about 28m high, it doesn’t really look like much. I mean, those spirally things sort of draw your eyes in, but so does something that’s really ugly! But when you walk inside, your breath is taken away and you have to marvel at the light that flows in through the multi-coloured stained-glass window called the “Glory Window”. When I saw this picture some time ago, I was again reminded of the story of the young girl who went with her parents to Europe on holiday. And as you do when you’re in Europe, they went to visit some of the great cathedrals. This was her first time in such great buildings, and she was enthralled by the beautiful stained glass windows. She was especially struck by how the light flooded into those cold and dark cathedrals through the windows that pictured scenes from the Bible. But all too soon the holiday was over and they returned home. And the first Sunday back at church, the Sunday school teacher asked her what she thought about the great churches of Europe. She struggled for a few moments to find the right words then said “Sir, I love the sense of awesomeness and the hugeness of who God must be.” And then she told her teacher about the massive stained-glass windows with the pictures from the Bible and of the saints. Now the teacher, as teachers do, saw this as a teaching opportunity so he asked her if she could tell him what a saint is. As the images of those beautiful stained glass windows flicked through her mind, she said “A saint is a person through whom the light shines.”
Friends, what a wonderful image that is of what we as believers, as saints, are supposed to be! The light of Christ has to shine through us. We have no light of our own but the light of Christ shines through us! The light of God’s Son Jesus shines through us to bring light into this dark world! And this is exactly what our text today is about. It’s about shining the light of Christ into the world. In this passage Jesus gives us insight into about living in the light. It tells us about:
- The basis of living in the light
- The result of living in the light
- The purpose of living in the light