i am the light of the world

You are the light of the world. A town built 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.  Matthew 5:13-15

This scripture struck me in a whole new way yesterday morning, as the young man giving the Gospel reading looked out over the crowd with tears in his eyes and said these words:


These are the words of Jesus, recorded in that first big block of red text in the New Testament, the Sermon on the Mount:


Can we sit with Jesus and agree with what he just told us, that I am the light of the world?

Can this really be true?

I am the light of the world?

Isn't that a crazy scripture?



Kay Bruner.

I am the light of the world.

Doesn't it sound deliciously heretical?

And yet, this is what the Bible clearly says.

I am the light of the world.

Cloud Gate, Chicago. photo: Andy Bruner

Cloud Gate, Chicago. photo: Andy Bruner

One of the things I love best about light is that it doesn't


or manipulate

or force

anything to happen.

It just shows up and shines.

I've shared before that my Enneagram Type is One with a Two wing: Reformer + Helper = Advocate.

As an Advocate, it is almost impossible for me to show up in a space and just be there with everyone else.

I do not remember a time in my life when I did not feel driven to make things better for people around me.

What happens for me is this: my spidey-senses pick up on all the pain in the room, and I feel pressured, compelled, and otherwise obligated to DO SOMETHING about the injustice before me, often injustice that no one else recognizes or cares to correct.

So not only do I have the injustice itself, I've got people who don't see the injustice and need to be awakened to the problem.

Oh, and as a woman, I'm supposed to be smiling sweetly and chit-chatting about the children, instead of noticing that the world is going to hell in a handbasket while everybody takes tea.

When all those songs about "you can make a difference, you can make a change" get played in church, I'm thinking, "I'M TRYING DAMMIT AND NOBODY WILL LISTEN!!!" 




In the past few years, the discovery of contemplative practice has changed my entire inner world from constant striving to right all the wrongs of the world toward an inner calm that sees the wrong and breathes through it.

I've learned that my job is presence instead of perfection.

My job is simply to illuminate the way for those stumbling in darkness, no more.

I don't have to fix everything.

I can't, and it's not my job.

But wherever I am, I can show up and shine.

Because I am the light of the world.

Yes, me.

The Bible clearly says.

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