24 February, 2016 40 days of change-Lent, 2016
Involved – 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 5:15
We know that awkward feeling, when something is amiss around us, but we aren’t sure whether to say something or just let it go. The bold people say something and the timid let it go. Part of being bold is getting involved. Getting involved in a situation that doesn’t seem right is risky; you are not sure whether the people in conflict will turn on you, as happens often in domestic disputes. But we have all heard of the situation where a horrific crime is committed in broad daylight with many bystanders, and not one person steps in. They may mutter their disapproval, glare ferociously, walk away in disgust, but they lack the boldness to get involved. The metaphor of us being light in the world calls us to involvement.
One day Jesus was offered a chance to get involved with a situation that was not right. A lady had committed adultery and a pious posse dragged her before Jesus inviting him to join them in damning her in accordance with the dictates of their law. Jesus declined to get involved in the cascade of abuse on the lady, but rather got involved in the consciences of each of the condemners. The involvement was not loud or aggressive; rather it was somewhat passive, but very pointed. As he knelt in their midst, a picturesque reminder of his incarnational involvement with them, he wrote in the dirt. It was like he was handwriting on their heart. One by one, they left. Jesus could have walked away and let them have their sanctimonious fun. He could have stood back in disgust leaving it for them to sort out whether his disgust was aimed at them or at the lady. But he didn’t choose either of those escape routes; rather he got involved with each of them, and then with the lady as he called her to a changed life.
Christians should always be involved, bringing light to every situation. In the bad times, our light should expose the evil and show the escape route from it. In good times, we should be the light that magnifies the good and reflects people’s attention back to God, the source of all good. But as the verse above says, none of that happens when we hide it under a bowl. Isolating ourselves from others and from the world around us is not the way to go. Being involved is bringing our little light into the midst of life where it will cast light on all. Think of your isolation borders that you have drawn with your neighbour, colleague, family member. That’s the line where you stop your involvement in their life and them in yours. It may be you only see them during the day at work; get involved with them by giving them time after office hours. For your neighbour, up until now you only have spoken over the fence; move the involvement line to each other’s homes as you treat them to dinner. Get involved, and in doing so, you bring them close enough so they can start to see life in a whole new light. As Jesus said “you are the light of the world” and the world needs you. Let your light shine boldly; get involved.