No, not the introduction to a television series, or the opening line of a great song. Who are you to God? This weeks lectionary readings all focus on who we are to God, and just as important how we reveal that to the world. And these are not easy words to read or hear, because if we are honest they are convicting words. In each of the lectionary readings for this week it becomes obvious – God’s love for us prevails, but evidence is demanded. If we are God’s, then we should show it. And that show is not in wrapped in fancy garments worshipping in fine cathedrals. It is not making a fool of ourselves by excluding that group or this group. It is NOT even standing and proclaiming that this is the only way. No, clearly what God demands and what expects that we show the world is our love and care for those who are beyond the world’s love and care.
We manifest Christ, we become the incarnation when we are so sure of whose we are, that we step out in love for those that aren’t all that lovable in the terms of the world. And while I completely believe that the proclamation of God’s love verbally cannot be restrained by those that truly love God, I do not believe that it is the vile language of condemnation of people. I am unworthy enough for what God has provided to me, who am I to say that another is more or less worthy than I. Indeed, I believe until we can proclaim as Paul does in the 1 Corinthians text for this week…”not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit” will we ever realize God’s kingdom, “on earth as it is in heaven.” When we are the light on the hill, as illustrated in the Matthew text, we can’t exclude where the light of God will shine, we can only allow it to shine through us where God wills it to shine.
So don’t limit the light, God’s light, let it shine. Become a way to the thin places.