Bible Society of South Africa

Absolutely Alive: Shining unity - 8 July 2024

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

16In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16GNBOpen in Bible reader

At Sunday School we used to sing a simple, but evocative, song about light – one of my favourites – which fired my imagination, and went: “Jesus bids us shine with a pure clear light, like a little candle burning in the night; in this world of darkness we must shine – You in your small corner and I in mine.” With a child’s understanding, I mused about us all having candles to light up our corners, but I never got to thinking about how great a light we would produce if we stood together in a group holding them.

One night we went to a concert in which the Cape Welsh Choir was raising funds for the annual Passion Play in our town. They’d practised long and hard together to put together a varied repertoire of engaging songs which delighted the audience, and as we watched and listened, captivated, I became aware of how these men with diverse personalities – from different backgrounds – each with his own vocal range had come together as one for a common cause and had produced beautiful harmony. The result was a dynamic rapport between them and the audience who didn’t want the concert to end when it came to the last song. Fittingly the “encore” was a song called the “Rhythm of Life”.

I believe that this was a beautiful example of individuals sacrificially bringing their gift – light – together to shine for Jesus for the benefit of others, but it would also contribute to spreading the Good News in a bigger way – and very graphically portrayed in the performing of the Passion Play.

Wouldn’t it be something wonderful if, with a common desire to love and serve others, we would bring our light together in a unity that would be appropriate to Jesus’ prayer to his Father for his disciples in John 17:21, “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” – put aside our different backgrounds, vocal ranges, heights and appearances for the King who died for us to know newness of life.

Working together with his disciples, and serving others, was what Jesus did daily – healing, feeding and teaching the people that he moved amongst, while standing for justice and righteousness. What he exemplified was God’s love shining in the world. We’re called to do the same and experience the wonder of his light shining through us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, shine your light through me that I may selflessly love and serve as you did and make us one in you. Amen.

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