Sunday, January 22, 2006

Lamp or Flashlight?

Just some ponderings here:

in the book of Matthew verses 14-16 Jesus said,
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

I think much of Christianity in America in recent years has been more concerned with being a flashlight than a lamp. We want to focus our light on political and moral causes at the expense of the rest of the room. A flashlight can be a good thing when the power goes out but the words of Jesus call us to the type of ambient light which fills the room that lights up like a city on a hill. This is hardly the flashlight type of light. This is the ambient light that comes not from focused efforts but from every day living. When we engage in flashlight spirituality we only light up the things we are aiming for while everything behind and beside us remains dark. But lamp-light spirituality is the type that give light to everything around it. Whenever our Christianity becomes simply about a cause or political persuasion we have limited our expression in a very narrow and unatural way. Soon we begin gathering with other flashlights until we've become a whole group of flashlights shining at the same thing. This is hardly the way our lord intended us to live. Our spirituality should touch every aspect of our lives - conversations, work, ethics, mercy, etc... Often it feels much better (at least to our egos) to engage in flashlight Christianity - revealing the wrongs of the world or showing others the standard to which we should live. Being a lamp seems less "spiritual" most of the time, but it counts big time.

Well these are some random thoughts for now... My next post will hopefully be from Colorado.


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