Sunday Prayer Requests
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
In previous readings, we saw Jesus called the “light of the world.” This morning’s story, said by Jesus himself, features the same image of light and darkness, and yet something is significantly different. In this telling, Jesus says, “you are the light of the world.” Jesus then goes on to encourage us to live our lives in front of other people, to help others, to give selflessly, and to give all the credit to God.
Two takeaways from this for today. First, Jesus reminds us that we each have a choice between lives of “light” and “darkness.” The truth is that we all carry a combination of the two with us throughout our entire lives. There is no one who doesn’t carry some regret, some hidden pain, grief, addiction, or grudge, and in following Jesus we offer him our darkest parts, trusting that he will bring healing into our deepest pain. Yet, Christians are called to be people whose lives are characterized by light. Through our everyday actions we can be beacons of light in a world that is far too accustomed to darkness.
Second, remember that we don’t do good works to earn God’s love. Look closely and see that immediately following good works, Jesus says, “give glory to your Father in heaven.” This is a beautiful invitation for all of us to share in God’s work in the world. Jesus may be the light of the world, but each one of us become his hands and feet when we give food to the hungry or clothes to the naked. This week, we served in the name of Christ people whose lives were destroyed, whose homes were literally drowned in darkness. In fact, every week our hands and feet can be the hands and feet of Christ. May all of our actions and words shed the light of the love Christ into the lives of those around us.
- Pray for each student as they worship together, explore together, and encourage each other.
- Pray for adult leaders and team leaders as they navigate through the logistics of NYC travel and leading groups.
- Pray that each youth will encounter Christ in worship this morning.