Every time there is a baptism, we light a baptismal candle and hand it to the family and state these words. In these words, we are reminded that as God's children we are called to glorify our Father in heaven and be God's hands and feet in this world as we serve God's people.
How often do we light our baptismal candle, but forget to live our lives so that we glorify our Father in heaven? I know that I am a good Lutheran; simultaneously saint and sinner. In other words, I don't always look at my neighbors in the best possible light. I don't always stand up and advocate for what I believe is right in this world. Yet God calls me to shine God's light in this world and glorify my Father in heaven.
A few months ago, I began a tradition of tweeting some of my friends a short sweet tweet reminding them they are loved. It started as a one time thing, but then I realized how much I loved doing it. So every week or so, I send out a quick tweet. It always surprises me how my words often are just what my friends need to hear at that moment. Just the other day, a friend replied with the words "You are a light on my Twitter feed."
I hadn't thought much about it, but it made me stop in my tracks and think about who God has called me to be as a beloved child of God. After sitting and reflecting for awhile, these above words from our Baptismal service popped into my brain. God was reminding me that I am called to be the Word made flesh in the ways that I can shine my light and glorify our Father in heaven.
As a good Lutheran, I am thankful that God's grace is sufficient for us all and that my life and faith are not dependent on doing good works because I fail at that every day...when I don't admit my own white privilege, when I am silent when I should be vocal, and in so many other ways. Yet God's grace calls us to try again and again to shine God's light in this world and glorify our Father in heaven through the good works that we are able to do.
For when we shine God's light in this broken world, the Word is made flesh again and again through our own acts of goodness, love, and mercy in this world. So my friends, may you let your lights shine before others so that we may see your good works and glorify our Father in heaven."