Jesus says, “Let your light shine so that others may see your good works and give glory to God in heaven.” Matthew 5:15
Dear People of St. David’s,
I pray that you and yours are safe and well and happy on these beautiful spring days. Spring is one of those seasons around here where it feels like God is “showing off” who God is and how God is a God of beauty, artistry, and love. Maybe it’s a good season for us to do the same.
We are in a season of baptizing new Christians and recommitting our own lives to Christ as witnesses at the baptisms. We have three baptisms this Sunday. I am excited to try something out that I learned from a retired priest who came to St. David’s earlier this month to baptize his seventh grandchild. What he did touched me and reminded me of our call to be lights in the world.
After the child was baptized into the faith and marked as Christ’s own forever, he picked up the baptismal candle, lit it and held it at a safe distance from the child’s face. He smiled and said Jesus’ words, “You are the light of the world. Let your light shine so that others may see your good works and give glory to God in heaven.” He then handed the candle to one of the godparents.
I’d never seen that done before and it reminded me of a core feature of the life of faith or the life of being followers of Jesus. Jesus is calling us to be lights for others by the way we live our lives. Jesus is calling us to be lights for others by the way we pay attention to our spiritual lives; by the way we do good works and acts of love for others; and by the way our lives point to God so that others may come to know the depth and majesty of God’s love that we are coming to know.
I don’t mean for this to sound like a heavy burden because we’re not shining on our own. God has graced us with different personalities, different gifts, and different interests. The God who created us is also with us and empowering and encouraging us to be who God created us to be. No, the call to be a light is the greatest of pleasures and gives us a purpose that is greater than anything we can come up with on our own.
So let me invite you to remember in this season of baptism, that by our baptisms we have been reborn into a new life. You and I have been reborn and given a higher calling and that calling is to be a light in the world. Imagine the difference God could make through us if we allowed God to make us and our lives a light for others. Let’s let it shine!
See you in church!
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. W. Frank Allen, Rector