When I was little, we sang a song called “This Little Light of Mine”. Maybe you did, too. We loved singing it — and my children love singing it now. As I see where we’ve been and where we are headed, as individuals and as a church, I have a new appreciation for it. It’s a song with wisdom in its simple lyrics! This verse especially sticks out to me:
Hide it under a bushel- NO!
I’m going to let it shine!
Don’t let Satan blow it out!
I’m going to let it shine!
Parable of the Talents
I hear in it an echo of the Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14-30) that Jesus tells after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem: a man going on a journey entrusts to each of his three servants some money to keep while he is away. Two of his servants invest the money they are given; when he returns, they give back to him more money than he originally gave them. This earns them his praise. But the third servant buries the money with which he has been entrusted; when the man returns, the servant gives the man only the amount he had originally been given. Anyone who understand the time value of money knows that this means the servant actually returned to the man less than he had been given. This earns the third servant a stern rebuke.
What currency have we been given? What do we have that we can invest and multiply? First of all, we have the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We invest it and see it multiply by proclaiming it from the pulpit and by sharing it with our neighbors: we do this by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our currency is the light that shines! And we have the currency of all the resources we have been given: we have people, facilities, and money — money from pledges, gifts, and grants.
The questions before us are these: Are we going to invest these resources boldly in faith and hope or are we going to bury them in fear, like the servant who was rebuked (v. 25)? Will we hide in the corner when we hear the call to bold, decisive, faithful, joyous action and investment? When I read this parable, I hear a call to the bold investment of resources in faith, a call that we hear throughout Scripture.
So many people are invested in our success as a church! Our diocese has demonstrated this to us sacrificially. Our school is invested in our success. Our forbears are trusting that we will make the decisions to succeed. Our neighborhood and community need for us to succeed. Most importantly, Our Lord planted us here in Southwest Houston. He called us to be a beacon of the Gospel here, to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and to advance His Kingdom. There is no higher calling than this and we are all called to this most eternal of vocations.
There is joy in the proclamation and sharing. There is joy in the service and mission. There is joy in our bold faith and assurance. This is when we are truly human: who we are created to be, a people whose faith is in the Lord Christ. There is fear in worry and anxiety. There is fear in despair. This is humanity when it seeks to be its own god: us when we attempt to bear the weight of the world on our shoulders.
Have your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew sing you the song again. Maybe pull it up on YouTube and sing it yourself. This light we have will shine because we will share it — and a little child shall lead us (Is. 11:6).