No one covers a lamp with a basket or puts it under a bed, says Jesus. Hiding a lamp makes it ineffective. A lamp is made to share light, to be out in the open so others may see. Matthew adds: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”[i] We are made to shine, to illuminate, to point people to God, not hiding or keeping to ourselves.
Yesterday in the text preceding this we heard a parable.[ii] Like the wild sower, God is recklessly generous, scattering seed everywhere, including where there is little chance of bearing fruit. Like the different soils, we vary in our receptivity, while God keeps loving, generously sharing.
To receive such generosity and to share it means being vulnerable—risky, emotional, exposed—and this is how we are created to be. Fear and shame prompt hiding or hording. Jesus says as a lamp is for a room, we are to receive, be seen, and shine.
Jesus continues: “The measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given to you.” Eugene Peterson paraphrases it this way in The Message: “Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.” Blessed, we are to be a blessing. Loved, we are to love. Receiving reckless generosity, show up and shine. Don’t hide or keep it to yourself.
How is God inviting you today to share what you have received, to be generous giving love? How may you be vulnerable today by listening well and in sharing your voice?
Let your light shine.
[i] Matthew 5:15
[ii] Mark 4:1-20
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