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“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar,” says Jesus (Luke 8:24). Duh…It wouldn’t make much sense to turn on a light and then keep everyone in the dark. That’s why I put my light in a mason jar. But we all do it, hide our light that is. We all have bits of light that come into our lives. Light we keep hidden from others. And we always have our reasons. Perhaps it gives us an advantage over someone when we know something they don’t. Maybe the light we carry is information that is on a “need to know” basis. The light could be too revealing and would uncover something we want to keep hidden. Yeah, that one hit close, didn’t it?
There is one other reason we may choose to hide our light. I know many of you reading this are not followers of Christ. That’s okay, you can, and should, keep reading. You may find it enlightening.
For Christians, there is another reason we may choose to continue hiding light. We see light bearing as a burden. Bearing light can in some ways be similar to bearing our cross. Jesus also told us,
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me,” — Luke 9:23.
Cross bearing is a burden. But remember what else Jesus told us.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” — Matthew 11:28-30.
Don’t slam me. I know the light spoken of in this verse is an adjective. The point is, Jesus makes the burdens he calls us to bear light work. Not easy, but light.
Light bearing can be hard work. And, it is important work. Being light bearers is not optional. “You are the light…” (Matthew 5:14-16). Jesus left us no other option. “You are” light bearers. I am a light bearer. The only choice we are given is whether or not we are going to brightly shine our light or shamefully hide our light. And when we accept the burden of bearing light He will give us the strength in the task, and make light work of this burden of bearing the light.
One of my favorite songs is “Bearer’s of the Light” by Michael Card. He sings of Barnabas, Timothy and Paul as our mentors who have gone on before us as an example of bearing the light. Here is the chorus:
“The Light we must bear
Is the Light we must share
Is the Light that illumines the darkness
The promises kept give us strength to accept
This burden of bearing the Light.”
You can listen to the whole song on his album Poiema. It is available on iTunes.
So, what do you choose to do? Shine? Or hide? At the very least, if you are going to put your light in a jar, make it a mason jar.