Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Mathew 5:16
When I was playing sports in high school, we had a sign next to the locker room door that said “Play Like a Champion Today”. As we all exited the locker room for practice or for a game, everyone would touch the sign. I don’t remember if we ever discussed the meaning of that sign, or if it was just an unspoken “tradition” that we all touched it. And I don’t know what other guys thought of when they touched the sign—we never discussed that either—but I know what I thought. For a few seconds at least, I internalized what the sign meant to me. I thought about giving my best effort, of not giving up even if we were down by a goal or two (soccer was my sport). I was the goalkeeper and so I would tell myself to think of all the balls I saved from going into the goal rather than the ones that got by me. And that I should be gracious both in victory and in defeat. Of course, there were times that I didn’t give a good effort, when I got down on myself or my teammates, when I gloated in victory and felt crushed in defeat. Every day, however, was a new day, and I would touch the sign each day and remind myself what I was supposed to be. 
In Matthew 5:14, Jesus tells us that we “are the light of the world.” And in today’s verse, He tells us to let our “Light so shine that they (others) may see (our) good works give glory to (our) Father who is in heaven.”  In other words, we are to be a light to the world in a way that reflects God’s glory. I read once that the moon in a grey ball of dust. It doesn’t have colorful landscape the way the earth does. Why then is the moon so bright and beautiful? Because it reflects the light of the sun. It shines because it reflects the light of the sun. We are supposed to, in our lives, reflect the light of the Son of God? If someone says “The moon is so beautiful,” we could answer, “well, it’s only beautiful because it reflects the sun.” And if someone said then you were beautiful, you could say “Thank you, and that is because I reflect the SON!” Of course, Christ doesn’t tell us to go around and advertise “I’m beautiful because I reflect the Son.” Rather, when people see our good works, and see that they are offered in a humble and Christian way, when we give glory to God in what we are doing, then they will see our good works and perhaps come to glorify God as well. 
Sometimes when I sleep late, my son will come into our room and throw on the lights. The room will go from dark to light. And sometimes, the brightness will cause me to go under the covers, I don’t want to be in the light. 
Showing Christ’s Light to the world is a lot like flipping on lights in a room. You show warmth, love, peace, things that are in marked contrast to the ways of the world. Some will embrace the Light, and some will duck and cover. We can only control showing the Light. How others react to it is up to them. 
Here is a suggestion: Make a sign and put it near the door you use when you exit your house, or put it on your desk at work, somewhere you’ll see it. On the sign write “I will be a Light in the world today,” or “I’ll let the Light of Christ shine through me today.” And then before you leave home, or start your day at work, before a difficult phone call or an important meeting, tap the sign, the same way the athletes tapped the sign in the locker room, and let it remind you to be a light in the world today.
Lord, thank You for shining Your light on our world. Thank You for shining it in my own life. Help me to be a Light in the world today. May I use my gifts and talent to bring glory to You. And may others see You through the things I do and say today. Amen.
Let His light shine through you in the world today!


Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis

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. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced multiple books, you can view here:


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