"No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lamp stand, that those who come in may see the light.
I am not sure where I heard this story before, but I remember it very well and thought it would be a good one to share.
Several centuries ago in a certain mountain village in Europe (so the story goes) a nobleman wondered what legacy to leave his townspeople. At last, he decided to build them a church. Nobody saw the complete plans until the church was finished. When the church gathered, they marveled at its beauty. But one noticed an incompleteness. "Where are the lamps?" he asked. "How will the church be lighted?" The nobleman smiled and then gave each family a lamp. "Each time you are here the area in which you sit will be lighted. But when you are not here, some part of God's house will be dark."
Today, we live in a world of darkness, dim paths on which even the best secular problem-solvers are beginning to stumble. In spite of our social conscience, all around us is evidence of ignorance, illiteracy, and wicked imaginings. The world is so big, and our lamps are so small. Yes, maybe so, but we CAN light some small part of each day. Look at all the millions of stars in the heavens. How small each star looks in the distance. Yet, put together those tiny jewels can light the darkest night. Each of us is a star (or a lamp if you will). We CAN make this world a brighter place. It is well expressed in this prayer attributed to Michelangelo: "God grant me the desire always to desire to be more than I can accomplish"...
No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lamp stand: Just as a lamp should be displayed out in the open, so all can benefit from its light, so the word and work of God should be displayed.
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