Posted by: lepages | November 11, 2009

Shine… or not??

Lucas on Life 19/20 September 09.
Just as Israel was called to be a lighthouse for the nations, so the Christian community is called to be the light of the world. And that means there will be something profoundly different about us. Sometimes we can be obsessed with being relevant – which, if we’re not careful, can mean that we just blend in. Os Guiness warns, ‘Never have Christians pursued relevance more strenuously than we currently do and yet never have we been more irrelevant.’ But because God is utterly different – radical – then we are called to live differently: not to repel people but to be exclamation marks that create a reaction and a question, so that people ask, ‘What’s the reason for your hope?’

Reading this this morning brought back to mind a conversation with a rep from the bank on the phone yesterday. We were talking about the setting up of a regular saver plan. (Worth doing! Interest rate last year of 10% – still 8% for the year ahead!!) I was pleased to discover that we can vary the amount during the year, as last year we’d gone for the maximum amount but struggled in the last few months once our savings from the previous year ran out. The lady was at pains to explain all the options, how Julie and I could both do them independently and thus save more. I was at pains to explain that we’d struggled with one in the last year! Her answer, ‘well you never know, you might win the lottery!’ She was quite taken aback when I said ‘No chance of that!’ ‘You never know!’ she said. ‘Yes I do’ I said, ‘I never buy a lottery ticket!’ ‘Oh, well you might come into some inheritance….’ Not a wise comment. Having exhausted the unexpected financial blessings comments and expected positive enthusiasm for them (which she didn’t get!!) she took another tack in conversation. ‘Well, it will be maturing around Christmas time next year, and it is such an expensive time of year isn’t it?’ ‘Well, actually, it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to spend a fortune on food and presents. You can actually enjoy just what its really about.’ ‘But what about trips out, they cost a lot… or a nice meal….’

I genuinely don’t think she was doing a really big sales spiel, I think she was just being challenged by a different way of thinking which she hadn’t considered before. We had a great conversation. Not sure it will have pleased her boss – nearly 30 minutes to set up a regular saver account which I already knew I wanted to do! But it was good to talk.

The Christian faith has a way of changing our values and our priorities in life. Sometimes it can be counter-cultural and causes our light to shine. I don’t know that our conversation provoked her to ask ‘What’s the reason for your hope?’ but maybe it gave a fresh perspective on life.

“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)


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