A Lamp under a Bushel Basket
He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”
When I first read this passage today, I saw it as two somewhat separate ideas that for some reason were grouped together. However, as I read it a few more times, I saw the connection between all the pieces. We are given a light (good news in word and deed) to share and we have a choice about how we will use that light – we can let it shine to others or hide it away – under a bed, under a basket, etc. The last part of this section, which by itself can feel really troublesome is connected to what comes before. When we share, when we are generous, when we are giving, we are giving in a measure that multiplies and grows. This isn’t a passage about material possessions or anything of the sort, but instead the blessings that come as we share to others. Tonight, as I wrap up the day, I think of a woman in our congregation who is coming to her final days – far sooner honestly than anyone would have expected and leaving us with many questions about the why’s of the events of life. She is one of many others with whom I have journeyed through these last days who will be gone from us far too soon. What is the common thread in all of these lives is that there was an incredible outpouring from others about the impact they made – the ways that their light shone and made a tremendous difference. I grieve the loss that is taking place and those that have already happened. As you go through your day tomorrow, take time to bless someone both in the light that you share as well as in acknowledging the ways that others have made their light visible to you or to others.
There are two songs that are running through my mind tonight…
Blessed to be a Witness – by Ben Harper
Your Long Journey – Alison Krauss and Robert Plant