November 8, 2020
Let your light shine. Remember that song “This Little Light of Mine?”
One of the songs young Christians in America might learn first is “This Little Light of Mine.” The original folk song gained popularity after a recording made by John and Rudy Lomax, on May 14, 1939. They toured the South, recording folk songs. In a prison in Huntsville, TX, they recorded Doris McMurray sing several folk songs she learned from her grandmother in Waco, TX. The sermon audio contains that recording (from 4:34 to 6:05).
As popular as that song has become, nobody’s sure exactly where it comes from. It has been included in Bruce Springsteen concerts, and was even used during the Civil Rights Movement.
The song sounds like it’s based on a teaching from Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)
One of the verses of the song says “All around the neighborhood, I’m going to let it shine.” So, if we let our light shine, it should be visible everywhere in your life. It shouldn’t stop at your front door. It should produce evidence that can prove you didn’t just say you were a Christian, but that you are a Christian.
So, we are called to let that light shine.
In Acts 26:20, Paul shares his message, and the mission: by teaching people to believe, repent, and “prove they’ve changed by the good things they do.”
Being a Christian should become more than a field you fill out on a form, like “Democrat,” “Republican,” or “Other.” Believing something should be more than just check boxes on a questionnaire.
We encourage you to make your life a sermon, one people can see:
Sermons We See
by Edgar Guest
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you and the high advise you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.
One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.