And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
Genesis 1:3-4 NIV

This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.       1 John 1:5 MSG

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” Mathew 5:14 MSG

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.“ Matthew 25:14 NLT

Having pondered the Matthew 25:14 story for years, I have wondered, what if instead of money, the man entrusted the people on his estate to the servants. So I’m going to share an abridged, personal paraphrase of this scripture:

When the owner of a large estate was preparing for a long journey, he met with three of his servants. Promoting them to stewards, and according to their abilities, he put them in charge of managing his property and the people living there. To one steward he gave a large city; to another he gave a midsize town; to the third he gave a small village.

During the meeting, the first two paid close attention to everything the owner told them. They focused on his facial expressions, with their ears open to the tone of his voice, so that after he was gone, they would remember his charge to them – as well as his smile and his manner. The third kept glancing at the others, because he felt that he was not treated as well as they. When the meeting was over, the first two stewards left with the earnest desire to represent the owner as they found him: kind, generous and loving. The third carried envy and bitterness within himself, and so he decided to portray the owner to the village as unkind and selfish.

The owner was gone for several years. When he returned, he called the three stewards to an assessment. The first steward arrived with his family and a crowd of people from the city, all desiring to see and honor the owner that the steward had portrayed by his wise, kind management of the city. The second steward, also, arrived with his family and a crowd of townspeople, because he too had managed their town with wisdom and kindness.

The third steward came alone, because neither his family nor any of the people in the village wanted to see an owner so mean and uncaring that he would put such a manager over them.

When I think of Matthew 5:14, that we are to be light in the world, I think of the battery powered, triple candles I place in the windows at my house. They shine from Thanksgiving until the batteries run out of power well after Christmas.

I also think of how Paul puts it in 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”

The Holy Spirit is the power by whom we are able to carry the light of Christ into the world as we live in our homes, neighborhoods, church, wider community, and the world.

As we go about each day, let us ponder the way the Holy Spirit empowers our lives to reflect the light of Jesus and his way through us to our families, church and the surrounding community.