Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015, has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
Good morning Prayer Team!
Continuing our discussion on the importance of reading scripture, today we look at a few verses from the “Sermon on the Mount,” a lengthy discourse that the Lord gave over the course of several chapters recounted in the Gospel of Matthew. In today’s verse, the Lord tells us that we are the light of the world. You are the light. I am the light. We are to bring the Light of Christ into the world. We are to radiate the Light of Christ to the world. At summer camp, we presented these verses, and with an exercise in experiential learning, used a fun icebreaker to demonstrate the point of this scripture.
We gave each camper and counselor in the group a slip of paper with the name of a person written on it. Each camp or counselor had to act out that part without talking and we had to guess who they were. Some examples included cheerleader, firefighter, lawyer, doctor, teacher, baseball player, inmate, parent, camp counselor, beauty pageant contestant and priest. Each participant acted out the part by doing things that their respective person would do and then we all guessed based on what we saw what role they were playing.
The lesson was that we could tell who they were by how they were acting. The “teacher” as an example pretended to write on a board, call out for answers, and grade papers. We all knew that was a teacher by how he or she was acting. The “beauty pageant contestant” walked up and down, waving, smiling and strutting with confidence. Again, something we could identify by how the person was acting. Likewise, Christians act in a certain way. They act like lights in the world.
I remember a sermon a priest once gave where he said that we each wear an invisible sign on our chest, a “report card” if you will that reveals who we are to the world. If a person drinks and drives, their sign says “I’m irresponsible.” If a boy takes advantage of a girl, his sign says “Don’t trust me.” So the question for today is, does your “sign” says “I am a Light in the world”? Christ tells us that “You are the Light of the world.” Does our “sign” reflect that? Are we people of honesty, integrity, decency, hard work, empathy, compassion, love and other things that reflect Christ’s light? Or are we people of deceit, ego, power, laziness and other things that do not reflect Christ’s light? Because over our “sign” we each wear a cross. Whether we wear an actual cross or not, all of us who have been baptized, have had Christ’s cross stamped on us. So, does our sign agree with the cross, does it agree with the phrase “light of the world”? One of our goals should be to find agreement with our sign and Christ’s light in what we are doing each day.
And of course, reading the Scriptures each day, reminds us in some way that we are Christ’s lights in the world, because the Scriptures shine that light on us each time we read them.
Lord, thank You for putting Your light in me. You have put it in all people, regardless of their age or circumstance. Help me to reflect that light in all that I am doing today. Help me to shine that light on others who need it. Help me to be a good example today. Let your light shine in me today. Give me the confidence and the consistency to shine it on others. Amen.
Let your light shine today!
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