By Pastor Ronald E. Krause
Zion Lutheran Church, Grant
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he tells these Christians that they should “...be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
Letting your “light Shine” is a common phrase in Scripture, and in the language of the Church as well. And we all know what it means: we are to let our faith be evident in the things that we say and do, we are to show ourselves to be the children of God in the midst of an unbelieving world; we are to bear the light of God’s truth in the darkness of the world around us. There’s nothing really complicated about the procedure.
But sometimes–maybe most of the time–it’s one of those “easier said than done” sort of undertakings. That’s most likely the way it was for those early Christians in the city of Philippi, to whom Paul first wrote this letter.
The major cities of the Roman Empire were terrible places of immorality and paganism. We may think that conditions couldn’t be any worse than they are in our godless society, but they have been. Christians of the past have struggled mightily to live out their Christian faith–to let their lights shine–in what Paul describes as “the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.”
And yet by God’s grace His people–of all times and places–have been able to shine as lights in the darkness of this world. Those early Christians held their lights high, even as they were paraded to their deaths because of the commitment to the Savior.
Those early apostles and evangelists took the light of the Gospel message to the furthest reaches of the earth, and considered it an honor to share that precious message of life and forgiveness with those still living in the darkness of sin and ignorance.
Perhaps the challenges that we are faced with in sharing our faith with others seem minor compared to those of the past; but that does not take away from the importance of what we have been given to do.
Our Lord encourages us to hold firmly to the word of life, to let the light of His love and mercy shine in and through us in our daily walk through this life, because the lost world in which we live is still in desperate need of the life giving light that the Savior has entrusted to us.