"You are the light of the world. A town build on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither 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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven"-Matthew 5:14-16
Once Jesus sat down on a hill and began to teach the crowd that was following Him. He talked about how they could be blessed and the ways they should be different from the world around them: "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither 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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Jesus presented an object lesson that His listeners would easily understand. "Do people light a lamp and then put it under a bowl?" Everyone there would have immediately said, "Of course not! That would be ridiculous." Today most of us light our houses by flipping a switch. If you're one of the ten people in America who still has a Clapper device from the 90's, then I suppose you could clap on your lights. Regardless, we all still recognize it would be absurd to light a lamp and then keep it under a bowl. But here's the thing: we do it all the time. We call it church.
Jesus said we are the light of the world. We all come together on Sunday. When we're gathered, there are big lights and little lights, and even supersized lights that are trying to shed a few lumens. Some lights have been shining for a long time, and some have just recently been lit. We learn how to be even brighter lights and encourage each other to keep on shining for a long time. We sing awesome songs like "Go Light Your World" and "This Little Light of Mine." All the while, we're gathered together under a bowl.
Every now and then, we lift the lid and look out. We shake our heads in disbelief at how dark the world out there is. We talk about how bad the people out there need light and how we are so grateful that we have it. Then we take our light and go home until we come back the next weekend and do it all again.
I think Jesus would say, "Since you have light and you see a group of people who need light, how about you go over there to where they are? Let them see your light up close and experience you. Because when they see you up close, they're ultimately going to see Me. When they experience you, they're going to experience Me."
Jesus made it clear how we shine our lights: we do good deeds. When people see our good deeds, they won't praise us, because it's not about us. They'll praise our Father in heaven and will be drawn toward Him.