Ephesians 5:8 says, “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have the light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” (NLT)
What does it look like to, “live as people of light”? Another version says, “walk as children of light.” (ESV) How do we do that?
If we go back to the first verse of Ephesians 5, I think we get a hint.
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love…” (NLT) And in the ESV it says, “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Seems like living as people of the light, walking as children of light boils down to LOVE. Showing love to all people like Jesus showed love to all people. The kind of love that does not judge, the kind of love that welcomes all, the kind of love that invites conversation and listens to understand. The kind of love that offers hope and healing and brings life. The kind of love that speaks life giving words not words of condemnation. The kind of love that offers a safe space to belong and question and doubt.
John speaks a lot about loving one another in 1 John – in chapter 3 verse 18 he says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”
Pastor Jeff wrote a Spiel article that was in the March 7th bulletin about how we need to access the light before we can shine it. (if you missed it you can find it on our website www.livelifetogether/bulletin ) It is not enough to just access the light, we also need to let it shine so others can see it and benefit from it.
Jesus talks about this idea of shining like a city on a hill. (Read about it Matthew 5:13-16) And we sing about it in the children’s song, “This little gospel light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.. All around the neighborhood, I’m gonna let it shine, hide it under a bushel, NO, I’m gonna let it shine, don’t let Satan poof it out, I’m gonna let it shine!” (are you singing it?) Jesus tells us the why behind shining brightly for the world, “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Any light that we shine, any good that we do, any love that we share, comes from Jesus with the purpose of people giving praise and glory to God our Father. It isn’t about us at all. It is about living in a way that shines and shows love to others so they get a glimpse of the love of God. There is another hint about how to do this in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
I am sure you can think of many ways to show kindness to those around you. Offer to babysit someone’s children so mom and dad can have a break, pick up groceries for a neighbor, take someones child to school for them, drop off a meal, send a written note of encouragement, compliment someone on a job well done, thank a teacher, go on a walk with a friend and listen, really listen to how they are doing, offer to pray for someone in the moment, drop off flowers just because…. What would you add to the list? How will you shine today?