“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, 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 who is in heaven.”
~Matthew 5:14-16, ESV
We are getting ready for our first ever community movie night! Bethany is sponsoring this event at one of our neighboring elementary schools. Inspired by our congregation’s “renewal” process as we work to imagine what our congregation might be doing in our community.
And for me, my hope for Bethany is that we can be a shining light in our neighborhood, a light of service, of hope, of community.
Part of our covenant as participants in our synod’s “Imagine Project” is to work towards at least seven events a year, and have at least four of those events be outside our church walls.
Sometimes we get focused inward. And when we focus inward, we might be putting the light God gives us under a basket.
Getting our lights out from the basket
These are events that get us outside. Events like our Ashes to Go Ash Wednesday in our parking lot. Or events like having a booth at the Kelso Highlander Festival. And now, we are hosting this community movie nigh. These are all ways for us to let our light shine in our community.
And at the same time, be part of the community around us.
The movie night is more than just an excuse for me to watch Disney’s Moana again (although, you know, “you’re welcome”, as Maui would say). This is also an event where we can invite our community, not just to our church, but to fellowship with us.
Becoming lights in our community
For many people, walking into a church building is a terrifying prospect, even if you’re a person who regularly attends church elsewhere. Churches have different customs, different culture, and honestly just new and strange people. (I mean have you seen the pastor at Bethany Lutheran? She’s got green hair!)
But we are looking to be in community with our neighbors actually in our community. We are working in spaces that we can all be comfortable together. We are starting something new. And This space might be the parking lot where people wait for their kids. Maybe this community is in a park filled with people dressed in kilts and bagpipe music. Or maybe we can meet our neighbors at the elementary school down the street.
These are all places where we can take our light out from under our basket, out from our building, and give light to all the house – to all our neighborhood.
And I’m totally going to sing Disney songs in front of everyone, LOUDLY.
And if you didn’t know, free community movie night will be at Columbia Heights Elementary, October 6th, 2017 at 5:30pm!
What are ways a church might “hide their light under a bushel”? How might you be hiding your own light? What different community groups do you participate in? How might you bring the light God has given you into those groups?