Children of the Light
The scriptures this Sunday talk to us of faithfulness and responsibility, and of being children of the light. In the Book of Proverbs “a worthy wife” is held up as an example of faithfulness who “brings good” as she “works with loving hands.” Those same hands “reach out to the poor” and her arms are extended to the needy. She is to be praised for her “fear of the Lord” as she is constantly aware of his presence.Certainly the worthy wife is also responsible, because as the gospel passage points out, faithfulness and responsibility go hand in hand. Each servant who invests his master’s talents wisely is praised for being both faithful and responsible.
St. Paul knows well Jesus’ teachings and, in a desire to bring his newly found disciples to both faithfulness and responsibility, he reminds them that they are “children of the light.” He explains to them that if they are to be found faithful and responsible they must live as “children of the day,” not allowing darkness to overwhelm them.
Certainly these reading are meant for us today. They call us as individuals, communities—church and family, neighborhood and country—to faithfulness to God’s commandments; the commandments that are all summed up in Jesus, his Son, the way, the truth, and the life. Who wants a faithful and responsible husband or wife, mom or dad, teacher, brother or sister, friend, governor or president, priest or pope? We do! We do! Because, what’s the alternative?
To live in the light and the day, which means to live in honesty, transparency and integrity, is the key to faithfulness and responsibility. After all, the spouse who cheats, the teacher who looks the other way, the sibling that steals, the clergyman that deceives (or whatever), have to do so in some sort of cloak of darkness. They somehow manage to bury the talents given to them to invest in the kingdom.
One of our shared goals as pastor and people must always be to promote the light and the day. And we do this by our faithfulness to all we know to be good and holy, and by accepting responsibility for our every action. When we know that someone has turned out the lights so that something might not be seen, with a healthy fear of the Lord we must take the responsibility to flip those lights back on! After all, nothing less than someone’s safety, sense of well being, and future may be at stake. “So teach us, Lord, about the talents you have given us and how best to invest them in your service!”