June 19th, 2007

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Being Light. Matt. 5:14-16

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

My wife grew up in the Ozark Mountains near the old zinc mining town of Rush, Arkansas which is now a ghost town on the Buffalo River in southern Marion County. They had no electricity until after she had grown up and gone away to train as a Registered Nurse.

Fourteen miles from a town of any size, she knew what dark dark was. When I first visited there, I was taken back by all of the stars one could see across the wide panorama from the ridge on which their house set. In such a place light is a prized commodity.

My mind also goes back to a time when three of us had become well lost on country roads in southeastern Montana. Then in the night sky we could see the glow of a small town. We joyfully turned toward the town and found shelter.

Ours is a dark world. Evil is all around us. We are often scared. We take joy when we finally see the “light of the world” and come under His influence. He makes it possible for us to see things as they really are, even including ourselves.

As we live out the Beatitude life treating others with mercy, being a peacemaker, and displaying a pure heart in our dealings with others, we are reflecting, like a moon, the rays of the true light. Lost folk are drawn to light with its protection, illumination and warmth.

What good works is Jesus talking about. Perhaps the list in Matthew 25 provides a good baseline for us:

*feed the hungry, quench thirst, provide shelter, cloth the naked, minister to the sick, visit the prisoners.

I rejoice when I think about what Christians in our county are doing to address each one of these areas of good works. More is needed. But good work is under way.

When these producers of good works are asked why they do it, they most often reply because that is something that a disciple of Jesus just does.