Let Your Light Shine

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”—Matthew 5:16 

In the highest mountains of Switzerland, centuries ago, a beautiful church was built by a local nobleman who wanted to leave a legacy for his townspeople.  

Nobody saw the complete plans until the church was finished. When the people gathered, they marveled at its beauty. But a few noticed something missing. 

 “Where are the lamps?” they asked. “How will the church be lighted?”

The nobleman smiled. Then he gave each family a lamp. “Each time you are here, the area in which you sit will be lighted. But when you are not here, some part of God’s house will be dark.”

Every Sunday evening the people who lived nearby saw something beautiful happen. The church bell would ring and worshippers would wend their way up the mountain.  They would light their lamps and light up the church.  On their way home, it was as if light poured out of the church into the world. 1

If you believe in Jesus, you are a lamp to those you meet each day, a reflection of the true Light of the world

“You are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness” (Romans 2: 19). The Lord has called each of us to light up our part of the world; our homes, workplaces, social events, and even a mundane trip to the grocery store.

Are you a shining light? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

I am so thankful that the Lords puts us all in different places to shine.  You might be a missionary in Africa, or a wife and mother in southern California, a student, a teacher, a laborer, a clerk – wherever the Lord has placed us, we are called to shine.

Sometimes it’s hard to shine through your own hurts and pain.  Ask God daily to fill you with His Holy Spirit and the “light of life,” and your heartache and pain will be eased as you light the way for others.  

You can shine with His love and joy and help lead lost and hurting people out of darkness and pain.

We are the lamps that light the church, keep the darkness away, and glorify our heavenly Father.


1. A version of this story is found in the liturgy for The 5th Sunday of Year (1999) by Rev RJ Fairchild.

Ray Bentley