"Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house." Mt 5:15
At the time of Jesus, because they were so difficult to light, lamps remained lit throughout the day. At night, they would be put on a lampstand so that everyone could see, but during the day, they would be covered in order that oil would burn very slowly and its value would last longer.
This is an important image for Christians. Whenever we are in the dark, it is important to have a light to help us see, guide us and give us access to the dark spaces of our inner lives. Jesus came into the world as light coming into the dark. A gift from God for all, we have only to stay close to him to see clearly where it is we are, and where it is we need to go.
The primary task of the Christian is to preserve the light, not to use it foolishly during the day when no one needs it to see. Rather, believers seek out the darkest corners of the globe, places where refugees gather, and the poor seek food, employment and housing. Content to help others, like Jesus, see who they are in God's sight and where God needs them to go, as light we do not direct others, but make it possible for them to find their own way. This humble task remains a linchpin of faith for every believer. Not only does it bring us joy, it assures us that we are doing God's work.
Today, be a quiet light for someone who feels lost.
Who has been a light to you in the darkness?