“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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” –Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
Pause for a moment and close your eyes. Think about the word “light.” What images come to mind? Is it the flickering flame of a candle? The bright colors of a holiday fireworks display? The sun, moon, and stars in the sky? I picture a lighthouse standing tall and strong in the midst of rough seas. It shines its light despite the storm. (That’s when a lighthouse is most needed, when the way isn’t clear.) It has a purpose, to warn weary sailors of the dangers of hidden rocks and shallow waters and to point them to the safety of the harbor. It doesn’t worry about the wind and the waves. It keeps shining its light to show the way.
I also think of the very beginning of creation and the first words spoken in the Bible, “Let there be light,” when God spoke light into existence and saw that it was good (Genesis 1:3-4). Later, in the book of Matthew, Jesus calls us, His followers, the “light of the world” and instructed us to use our light to bring glory to God (Matthew 5:16). The very same light that was in Jesus is in us, by the power of the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is let our light shine.
The world can be a dark and scary place, but that’s exactly the kind of place that needs God’s light. By shining our light, we are pointing people to Him, just like a spotlight in a dark theater. When the audience has settled into their seats, the bright beam of the spotlight cuts through the darkness to show people where to direct their eyes. It identifies what is important to pay attention to, the star of the show. In the same way, when we let our light shine, we draw people’s attention to Jesus and bring glory to God.
When we care for those who are in need, we are shining our light. When we teach our students to love the Lord and one another, we are shining our light. When we encourage one another to keep going and to fight the good fight, we are shining our light. When we share the joy and forgiveness and love of Christ with our schools, our neighbors, and our communities, we are shining our light. May we shine bright for Him!
Today is the sixth annual ACSI Day of Prayer. We invite you to join us as we pray that we would shine bright in our schools and communities. We know you pray every day, but today we ask you to partner with us and unite as a global community to pray specifically that our Christian schools, teachers, students, and families will shine bright for the Lord. Will you pray with us?
Here are some easy steps to help guide your day:
- Visit this year’s Day of Prayer webpage—available in both English and Spanish.
- Read, share, and pray for requests on our interactive Prayer Map.
- Download the 2023 Prayer Guide and other resources for suggestions of ways to pray and activities to use to help focus your prayers.
- Use the hashtag #SchoolsThatPray on social media to share how you and your school are participating. Don’t forget to follow along to see what others are doing, too.
Most of all, know we are praying with you and for you to shine bright for the Lord!
About the Author
Becki Rust is the Thought Leadership Project Coordinator at the Association of Christian Schools International, where she leads project management for a wide variety of innovative and timely initiatives, programs, and events. She also serves as editor for the ACSI Blog and the WLCE Blog. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King’s College in New York City.