“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Sadly, Christians can be some of the most insular people on planet earth.
During most of my 25 years as a believer, I was one of them. I attended a worship service on Sunday morning, another on Sunday night and another on Wednesday night. I attended a Bible Study on another night. And I participated in game nights and other social get-togethers… in the fellowship hall, of course. Most all of life revolved inside the four walls of that building which I called “church.”
I don’t think Christ ever intended for our gathering places to be our bushels. Yet whether we’re talking about the institutional church or house church or any other building where believers routinely gather, this turns out being the case more often than we may be willing to admit.
How will the world ever see our light shining before them to the glory of God if we’re always cooped up in our churches, fellowship halls or homes? How will they ever taste and see that the Lord is good? How will they ever see our love for one another, thereby knowing that we are His disciples?
Although some may say that we need to do a better job inviting people to “church,” I couldn’t disagree more strongly. Jesus did not say, “Invite your friends to come to your worship service,” but rather to go to all the world and make disciples. This involves relational engagement, actively getting to know someone, and being invested in their life, on their turf.
Now is the time to let our light shine before men…. to take it out from under our bushels and be relationally engaged with one another and our world within the arena of real life. Gathering together as a Body of believers in various places for our edification is invaluable, but if it doesn’t result in us demonstrating the love of God to humanity during our normal, routine everyday lives, then we’re missing the whole purpose for which Christ has deposited His very life in us.