(Jesus said) "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
The Lutheran Church in Germany was having a gathering of Christian teens that represented countries from all around the world.
In this two-week seminar, the young folks were given the opportunity to eat together, work together, and think together. One other thing they did was visit with each other after the day's official activities had all been completed.
On one such night, a rainy night, the topic of discussion turned to the different ways it was possible for individuals and churches to share the story of salvation. Some teens from the more technologically advanced countries talked about how they thought Jesus could best be shared through the use of mass media, the press, Twitter and Facebook.
Of course, not all countries are technologically advanced, and some of the group who were from such countries had little to add to the conversation. It didn't take too long before some of the talking students noted the silence and did their best to bring the others back into the discussion. They turned to one young lady from Africa and asked, "Maria, how do you tell people about Jesus in your country?"
"Oh," said Maria, "we don't have TV or radio programs about Jesus. Most of the time we don't have the money to purchase pamphlets or other things to give away. Generally what we've done in the past is send one or two Christian families to live and work in a village. We've found that when people see what Christians are like, then they want to be Christians too."
When I first heard that story, I liked it. The second time I read the story I began to feel uncomfortable.
Why? I became uptight because I wondered what would be the reaction if I were one of the people sent to represent the Savior. I wondered what conclusions unbelievers would draw about Jesus after they had taken a good look at my life.
Would the reflected light of my faith be bright enough to touch them, or would they be left cold and unmoved. Even worse, would it be possible they would end up thinking Jesus had left me cold and unmoved?
Think about it for a minute. It's kind of frightening, isn't it? And it gets worse.
The truth is every day there are those around us who are judging Jesus on the basis of our faith. They may not say anything. They may not raise any questions. They may never make a comment, but you can be sure they are watching and wondering if Jesus has changed us.
He has, hasn't He? If so, we need to make sure we publicly live the faith which is so very special, so incredibly precious. After all, that may be the way the Holy Spirit tells people about the Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, use me, my words, my actions, my life to share the precious message of the salvation that comes to us through the Savior's sacrifice. Forgive me for my past lack of enthusiasm and make me a reflected light for those in darkness. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries