In some parts of the world, Christians practice evangelism
by sending a young Christian couple to a village to live and
work. The couple begins their family and lives faithfully day
after day at home, in the village, and at work. Only when others
begin to question this family’s peace and joy does the couple
share the light of Christ that fills their hearts and minds. They
do not attempt to coerce but to share the story that brought them
to faith.

I once heard it said that we may be the only Bible someone
else will ever read. The psalmist writes, “Happy are those who
fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments.” Notice
the correlation between happiness and doing justice. The righteous
do not fear; they move forward with steady hearts, giving
freely to the poor. Their happiness goes beyond mere smiles to a
sense of wholeness and fulfillment. It does not mean a life without
troubles; rather, an understanding that God does not create
the troubles but gives us the strength to live through them. Those
who walk with this kind of faith draw others to them.

Walking in God’s commandments enables us to “rise in the
darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful,
and righteous.” We too can be the light for others by reflecting
on God’s commandments to love God with our heart, mind, and
spirit and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

We may ask ourselves these questions as we continue our
journey in faith: Where have we been a light to others struggling
in life’s shadows? Where have we failed to love those
closest to us? Our examination of our lives today may open new
possibilities for spiritual renewal as we live out our Christian
commitment.

Lord, help us to live so that others may see your light within us and be drawn to you. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 5:13-20

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Lectionary Week
January 30–February 5, 2017
Scripture Overview

Living genuinely out of a deep inner sense of connectedness to the Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) is a common theme for this week’s texts. By living out of this spiritual center, we match our actions with our words and avoid the judgment the prophet Isaiah casts upon the people of Israel. Psalm 112 is a hymn of praise for the blessings God brings upon those who revere and follow. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he urges them to move beyond their irtation with wisdom and to go to the deeper regions of the Spirit, the source of true wis- dom. And, nally, Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, calls his listeners to move beyond the mere words of the law to the deep meaning and intent of the law.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Isaiah 58:1-12. When have you felt strengthened by God for a particular task? How did your light “break forth like the dawn”?
• Read Psalm 112:1-10. Where have you been a light to those struggling in the shadows?
• Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-16. When have you faced unimaginable circumstances and had no words to speak? How did God’s wisdom help you in those times?
• Read Matthew 5:13-20. How do you ful ll God’s intended purpose for you as salt and light to the world?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.