This week I was challenged to think about Matthew 5:16 in terms of my home. Jesus says, ‘let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Mt 5:16)’ Of course Jesus is talking about our lives as individuals i.e. how is my life shining before others? But he’s also talking about our church life i.e. how are we shining as a Christian community in this dark world (see Phil 2:15)? But the question was asked: How is my home a light that shines in my community? How is my home a beacon of Christ-honouring influence?
The truth is we all live in a particular local neighbourhood. Unless you live in a commune, you are living in the world, you are surrounded by people who most likely don’t know God, or at least don’t know God as we know him. God has placed you in a strategic position to be a witness to His love and grace in Christ Jesus. Your neighbours watch you come and go. They see how you live. They hear how you talk to your spouse and kids. They observe how you spend your time. They learn your priorities.
You have been placed with a unique opportunity to shine the light of the gospel right where you are. Like your local church is meant to be a beacon of light in your community, and your life is meant to be a beacon of light in your school or workplace, so your home can be a beacon of light in your street. God wants people to be drawn to our homes because they are outposts of his grace, joy, hope, and love in a world that hungers for exactly those things. The Holy Spirit uses ordinary people right where they live to shine the light of the gospel.
Would you join with me in praying, ‘Lord, let Your Spirit so fill my heart and my home that the light of Your love and the Good News about Jesus shines into the lives of my neighbours. Amen.’