You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
This Sunday is the final sermon in what has become an eleven-week series on “Being the Church.” We spent seven weeks reflecting on the Priorities & Practices Jesus has given us to cultivate, the eighth week remembering our unity by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12), and the ninth week realizing we must first be loved in order to love (1 Corinthians 13).
Last week we began the culmination of this series by contemplating the Immensity, Intimacy, Implication, and Invitation of how we are being built into a dwelling place for God (Ephesians 2:22). We asked Jesus for the grace to more fully understand the first part of our vision statement: “God with us….”
This Sunday, we ask for the grace to more fully understand the second part: “…for the sake of others.” This is tied to the “Implication” portion of being a dwelling place for God – in Jesus, we are the temple where people encounter Yahweh, his presence, his provision, and his purposes. That’s why we listened to Isaiah declare, “Arise, shine, for your light has come!” And this week we’ll hear Jesus say, “You are the light of the world.”
I’m excited that the person to speak the words of Jesus to us this week will be Father David Comeau. David is a recently ordained priest in our diocese, assisting at Redeemer Anglican Church in Richmond, and serving as a College Minister at Virginia Commonwealth University. When I called to explore whether to invite him to celebrate and preach during my absence this Sunday, I quickly became convinced of both the timing and the person. David’s readiness, enthusiasm, and heart for the Gospel, for community, and for mission is evident. And when he asked whether he could preach on Matthew 5:13-16 – being salt and light – I got that tingling at the back of my skull that I often feel when the Spirit is at work!
Please join me in welcoming Fr. David to Immanuel this week, and in readying our hearts to continue growing into our name, “Immanuel, God with us for the sake of others.”
Your Pastor in Christ,