Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Welcome to worship as we celebrate the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany. What would our response be to someone who made the statement “You are the light of the world.” How would that make you feel? Nervous, dismissive, unsure what the motivation may be perhaps. There are lots of ways we people react to others who would want to offer words of thanks and praise. It isn’t in the nature of Christian folk or indeed of many people of all kinds to accept praise that in our own minds goes a little too far. This could well have been the first response of Jesus words and of the hearers of Matthew’s Gospel too, but like many of the sayings of Christ they are meant to help us realize the call to discipleship. The reason for being light in the world is further explained in today’s Gospel, where Jesus is believed to have said; “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” This helps to make the point that the faith we have grown into is not meant to be simply for ourselves. There is no such thing ultimately as privatised religion, but rather our beliefs call us to action and a public living out of what we believe. What might we each be able to do this week that show forth what we believe.
May our Lord be with us as we share in faith this week.
Rev Cannon Ian Howarth is the Rector of the Anglican Parish of St Paul's Kyneton and St John's Malmsbury and is the team leader of the Central Highlands Cluster.