Before the age of electricity, city streets were lit by gas lamps. Lamplighters lit these lamps with a flaming torch. One night an old man stood looking across a valley to a town on a hillside. He could see the torch of a lamplighter lighting lamps as he went. But because of the darkness, he could not see the lamplighter. He could see only his torch and the trail of lights he left behind. The old man said to a friend standing next to him. “That lamplighter is a good example of how Christians ought to live. You may never have known them, but you know that they passed through the world by the trail of lights they left behind.” The elderly man’s statement is a wonderful summary of what Jesus
meant when He said, “You are a light for the whole world…your light must shine before people so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven”. (Mt 5:14,16) It is important to note that Jesus emphasizes that it is what we do that counts. We can lament world hunger, but if we do not feed the hungry in our own area, our concern is truly not real. We can denounce sexism, but if we pay women less than men for the same job, our protestations ring
hollow. Disciples are “doers” not “sayers”. People are led to the truth of God by our actions not our words. As the old proverb goes, “People may doubt what we say, but they will believe what we do”.