When the Lord became zealous for his land

As has been my tradition, every sermon that I preach will be posted here. This sermon was given at The Salvation Army Moonee Valley on Sunday 9 September, 2012.

January 2010 started off what was going to be a great year. I was getting married, I was working doing what I loved – teaching violin – and I started off the year with a holiday down to Mandurah – about an hour south of Perth. It was great to get away from everything, and just escape. However, my whole year was about to take a dramatic shift. I received an e-mail from one of the schools that I taught at, saying that they didn’t have any students for me, and I wouldn’t be required at the school any longer. This was one week before the school term commenced. By that time, all of the school teaching positions would have been filled, and it meant that I was now living off effectively one days income. With a wedding to pay for, a house to find (as I was still living at my parent’s house), I really needed to find a job, and preferably quickly. Continue reading

Let your light shine

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 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
This passage from the Sermon on the mount is rather famous. It is part of a number of instructions to how his disciples should behave. Here, he is calling his disciples to be examples to the rest of the world, that their good deeds may encourage others to glorify God. In the Tyndale commentary, he writes,

But the disciples of Christ must not, through fear of being an unworthy influence, remain silent about their religion. They can, and they must, bear witness to the faith that is in them through personal example. This is the truth underlying the metaphor used by Jesus when He tells them they are the light of the world.

So the disciples must not hide themselves, but live and work in places where their influence may be felt, and the light that is in them be most fully manifested to others – not for their own glorification, but that others may see that the light of real Christian goodness, finding expression in practical acts of loving-kindness and service, is a light not of this world but coming from God, and may in consequence be led to give honour and praise to its Giver

The Gospel According to St Matthew, The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (General Editor Prof. R.V.G. Tasker), 1979 printing page 64.

I’ve heard this manifested in many different ways. People, like Major Brendan Nottle who runs the Melbourne 614 corps, working with the homeless, the poor and needy. I’ve heard it in suggestions to Christians that they should start each day with a bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other, meaning that they need to not only be in touch with God, but also in touch with the world. I’ve heard of it being manifested in people who are known as “the Christian” at work, who anyone can turn to when they’re going through a rough time.

What sort of things do you do to let your light shine?