Articles

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 June 2012 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Matthew 5:14 – 16

Sermon Theme: "Let Your Light Shine!”

14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Perhaps you heard the news this past week that after not having the full event last year, that once again this year, the Green Bay Packers are going to hold their regular “Family Fun Night”. For those who don’t know, it is a chance for fans to go Lambeau Field and watch the Green Packers scrimmage one another. If you were to go, I am sure that as you would look around the stadium that night you would see a lot of people wearing green and gold. I am sure that a person NOT wearing green and gold (let’s say they were wearing the colors of the purple and white colors of the Minnesota Vikings) would stick out from the crowd. Today in our worship services, we are talking about how you and I as Christians are to “stick out” from the rest of the crowd of the sinful world. As you and I grow in Christ, as we grow in our knowledge of him and all he was willing to do and continues to do for us, as we grow in our faith in Jesus as our Savior, you and I are empowered and motivated to “Let Your Light Shine!”

Jesus’ words before us this morning are taken from his Sermon on the Mount. During this “sermon”, the Lord offers a great deal of encouragement on how you and I are able to let our light shine in our day-to-day life. Everything that you and I do and say is to bring glory to our Father in heaven. It is something that just comes naturally to us as Christians. As Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.” By paying the full price for your sins and mine, Jesus made you and me Children of our Heavenly Father. Jesus made you and me lights to shine in the dark world of sin and unbelief.

Are you ever tempted not to be a light for Jesus? Are you ever tempted to hide the fact that you are a Christian? Rather than being made fun, rather than having to answer all the questions or face all the challenges that people may throw at us for being a Christian, we give in to the temptation and try to hide the fact that we are Christians. When you and I do give in to that temptation, we remember what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 10, “Everyone who will acknowledge me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny him before my Father in heaven.” What is the result of Jesus denying someone before his Father in heaven? Again, to quote Jesus, this time in words that he will speak as the Judge of all mankind on the great Last Day, words that he will speak to all who denied him while on this earth, “‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’”

You and I are able to think of times when we failed to let our light shine. Does this mean that we are headed for the eternal punishment of hell? For the sin of not being a constant “Light for the Lord”, for all of our sins, we come before our Savior-God and plead, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” And the Good News for you and me is that Jesus our Savior has won forgiveness of ALL of your sins and mine, including the sin of failing to let our light shine. The Bible comforts you and me with the Good News that Jesus has removed the guilt of ALL of our sins as far as the east is from the west. As the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy at the beginning of his Second Letter, it is our loving Lord “who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

What is our response to this wonderful Good News of our forgiveness through Jesus our Savior? We read, “A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Like the bright sun that comes up each morning and breaks through the darkness of the night, you and I are to let our light shine in a sin-darkened world. Or, as one author has written about these words of our Lord, “Jesus does not tell us to make a show of our good works or to parade our piety like a Pharisee. He rather urges us to live our faith even in the presence of the ungodly. As long as we bear in mind that we want to glorify God, not ourselves, we’ll know how to do this. The difference will not be in the outwards acts, but in the heart that produces them.” My dear Christian friends, let your light shine! Let it shine in such a way that it stands out to others. Be a “light-reflector”, who reflects in your life the Light of the world, our Savior, Jesus Christ. As you and I grow in Christ, as we grow in our faith him as our one and only Savior, may it be true for you and me what Jesus’ disciple Peter writes in chapter two of his first letter, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

A person wearing the team colors of the Minnesota Vikings would clearly stand out in a stadium filled with fans wear the green and gold of the Green Bay Packers. So the encouragement I have for you today is: BE A VIKING! Not that you have to start cheering for the Minnesota Vikings Football team. Rather, in the words of Jesus your Lord and Savior, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Amen.

 

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

Worship Schedule

Sunday
8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

Monday at 7:00 P.M.

Television Broadcast
Thursday at Noon & 7:00 P.M.
Sunday at 10:00 A.M.
on Charter Cable Station 985

 

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

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