You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand and it gives light to all in the house. 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.
In preparation for Children and Youth Sunday, all three of our Sunday school classes have been focusing on this scripture passage from Matthew for the past month, talking about what it means to be a light of God in this world. We learned about Harriet Tubman, a conductor of the Underground Railroad and one they called “Moses”, who helped slaves escape from the south. We learned about Austin (he calls himself President Austin) who is a five-year-old in Birmingham, Alabama who feeds the homeless with chicken sandwiches he purchases from his allowance and says “Don’t forget to spread the love!” every time he hands one out. We learned about Marley Dias, a 12-year-old girl on a mission to collect and donate 1000 books to schools and libraries featuring black girls as the main character (she’s collected 9000 so far!). And we learned that you do not need to be rich or powerful or famous or a genius or be super loud or be an adult to be a light in this world and make a difference. God gave us all gifts and passions that we can use as our “flashlight batteries” to shine light in the darkness. Here are just some of the ways our children decided they could spread God’s light:
• Share stuff! Like money and toys. Donate to people who don’t have enough
• Be generous and kind as a role model for others
• Give love to everybody! Even people who don’t share your language or skin color
• Pick up trash
• Clean up the environmental to reduce global warming
• Remember our own mistakes. Work on forgiveness and wholeness instead of punishment and judgment
• Make kindness rocks to encourage others
• Increase beauty in the world with murals, art, and gardening
• You could bake a ton of cookies and send them to friends
• Make a card with lots of smiles and put it in the mailbox and send it to someone who is sad
• Make a box in the shape of a heart and give it to your dad!
• Fill yourself up with love and spread it around so it is like a wave of love smothering the whole world!
Look for the darkness, discover your own batteries of passion, and shine the light of God as bright as a city on a hill. Start with some of our ideas, and you can light up the world!