This Little Light of God’s
“No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.” – Luke 8:16 (NRSV)
Every sermon I have ever heard, or preached, about letting your light shine was embedded with a set of instructions, calling the listener to figure out their gifts, put them to good use in the world, and shine as bright as they can.
There is nothing wrong with that message once in a while, but a lifetime of my favorite biblical metaphor telling me to “Go! Do! Shine!” makes me feel like I’m a 40-watt bulb shining in a 100-watt world.
I worry that I won’t live up to the gifts I’ve been given or that trying to have the brightest light will make me burn out. Will I still be loved if I push the dimmer switch on my lamp once in a while and unplug from the world?
The part all those well-meaning calls to action miss is that it’s not my light or your light. It is God’s light. What a relief for all those times when my bulb threatens to come loose from its socket. How easy to forget that God is our source of energy. I know God is strong enough that even if my bulb is a little dull, or in need of changing, God’s light will find a way to shine.
Hey God, remember that time your light found its way through a tiny baby in Bethlehem? May it find its way through me, too. Amen.
Liz Miller serves as the pastor of Edgewood United Church (UCC) in East Lansing, Michigan.