In Matthew’s Gospel, just before the charge to “let your light shine before others (5:16), Jesus proclaims, “You are the light of the world” (5:14).
In both verses, the “you” is plural. We are not alone. God gives us communities of support where we can shine together, drawing strength from one another. As the church, we are called to pray for one another, for the world and for all who are in need. In the meal of Holy Communion, as we receive the body of Christ, we are fed and nourished. We are recharged and renewed for our callings.
Letting our lights shine before others includes helping others’ lights to shine. Sometimes we are called upon to share our lights so that others can shine brightly. Sometimes we need courage to admit when we need others to tend our dimly burning wicks.
This message is an excerpt from “The light bearers” by Julie Kanarr in the January/February 2020 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember Julian of Norwich, renewer of the church, who died around 1416.