Reading: Matthew 5: 14-16 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: This is one of my favorite Bible verses. Especially verse 16 that reminds us that we are to let our light shine before others so that they know about Jesus.
At camp, we have outside lights on our porches. Our counselors turn them on at night so that the campers can see when they need to go to the bathroom. It also helps them to find their cabin when they return to the village after the sun has set. The porch light provides light in the darkness.
But, we ask the counselors to make sure that their porch lights are turned off during the day. Since the sun is our light then, we don’t need the artificial light. It’s a conservation measure to help us save some electricity.
One year, one of our counselors forgot to turn off his porch light. Since I had been preaching about the importance of conversing electricity, I was not happy when I saw this. He and his campers happened to be down at Blacksnake, one of our campsites. So, I walked down there and asked him and his campers to come back to the village with me. When we got back, I told them they needed to turn off their porch light and then they could go back to their planned activities. Having them walk all the way back to camp from their campsite made an impression and the light was off during the day the rest of the week!
When I think back on this now, I know I had good intentions as I wanted to teach them the value of saving electricity. But, in light of this verse (pun intended), maybe they were just letting their light shine for all to see. After all, God wants us to do that both during the day and in the darkness of the night. –Chad Hershberger