Matthew 5:14 – “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

I love this time of year. As I drive home after dark, more and more of the houses in my neighborhood have come alive with colorful light, inflated snowmen and decorated trees in the front window. There is something inviting about it all—a sense of life on a once dark street. I saw on television last night the return of a Christmas season reality show about Christmas lights. The show follows the ups and downs of families who compete to decorate every square inch of their home and front lawn with Christmas lights. One of the homeowners was saying he lights his house to be seen from space. Now that’s a lot of light.  

Jesus sat on a hillside and spoke these words into a community that didn’t know the modern marvel of electricity: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” I wonder what the modern satellite would have picked up in that time period. It certainly would not have been the multi-colored images of city nightscapes that we see today. A small candle or an oil lamp was all they had to light their home. In the dark, even the smallest light is bright.

Every light draws attention. How often has the flash of a camera turned our heads? The human eye has a great capacity to be light sensitive. It is not always so with the heart. Our hearts can be hardened by the hurts of life, dulled in their ability to perceive. This is why you are more than just a candle; Jesus in you is the light of a city. His light breaks through the darkest of nights; His love can penetrate the most calloused heart.

This season let the light of Jesus shine through in your kindness, gentleness and joy. He is not a small candle—He is the light of a city within you. The tender heart will be drawn to your light. The hurting heart will feel the warmth of your kindness. Let us be a people that glow brightly enough to be seen from space.