Living in a Field of Hats

some ramblings and reflections on working with students in Herts and Beds.

Light in the World November 1, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life,Church — Sarah @ 4:38 pm
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This morning at church we looked at Matthew 5:14-16:

14″You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither 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. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Bonnet, the pastor of Brethern in Christ church that shares Ferndales building was speaking and it was brilliant. He explored so many ways in which we are called to be light in this world! |The one that really struck me however was about ‘Doing the Unusual’.

He made the point that we often as Christians ‘do the usual’, so do what other people do. Do what is culturally acceptable.  And we do! This links into conversations I’ve had friends this week to do with Halloween and how we as Christians should celebrate it. i.e. do we totally avoid any dealings with it, or make a value judgment depending on what it is we’re doing. e.g. spending time with non Christian friends which has some Halloween content such as pumpkin carving and dressing up? I think I’d tend towards to the second but can understand why people would go for the first because we are called to be children of light . . .

But back to this morning, Bonnet gave the example of Desmond Tutu’s conversion which really struck me. Desmond grew up in South Africa during the apartheid so was used to the fact that he had to give white people the right of way whilst walking. According to wikipedia (not the most reliable of sources but pretty accurate this time I think) the story is as follows:

“One day”, said Tutu, “I was standing in the street with my mother when a white man in a priest’s clothing walked past. As he passed us he took off his hat to my mother. I couldn’t believe my eyes — a white man who greeted a black working class woman!”

This white priest did the unusual! He looked beyond the cultural norms and loved his neighbour, even though it would have been seen as awful.

This felt like such a challenge!