Shed the Bushel Basket and Let Your Light Shine

It is human nature to be drawn toward the call of the past. Through the filtered lenses of our time telescope, we often get a much-too-perfect perception of the past. The way things were often seem so simple and so clean from the present viewpoint, with the past’s clear lines of demarcation set on what’s right and what’s wrong. This view backward appears much more attractive than the messiness and grey areas of living in the now.

As Catholics, many of us do this with our faith. We look back at the Church of the past and pine for those simpler, seemingly holier times. We hear much about life pre-Vatican II, the Latin Mass, the old ways, etc. as being perfect times. I admit I sometimes have a longing to go back to the old ways, to stay within the known and comfortable boundaries I’ve stored in my imperfect memory banks.

Is that what God wants?

As much as I’d don’t like to admit it, the answer is a big, whopping NO. God doesn’t want us to live in the past. He doesn’t want us to hide inside this comfort zone, stuck within a cocoon of a stagnate faith. If God wanted that sort of existence for us, perhaps he would have revisited the Garden of Eden after the great flood and rebooted the whole ball of wax, only this time leaving out the snake.

The apostles and disciples who went into hiding after the crucifixion and resurrection kept the early church hidden under a veil of secrecy out of fear. The Risen Christ visited them and instructed them to leave their cocoon of safety. He also promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit for guidance in Acts of the Apostles:

“He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to earth’s remotest end’.” (Acts 1:7-8)

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak different languages as the Spirit gave them power to express themselves. Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, and each one was bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language.

They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely,’ they said, ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; residents of Rome- Jews and proselytes alike — Cretans and Arabs, we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God’.” (Acts 2:4-11)

Jesus sent them out into the dangerous unknowns to spread the Good News. It was spread by the disciples in every language so every ear could hear. It wasn’t confined to Latin or Hebrew, or Greek, or Swahili. The language was not important, the message was.

Sure, we need to stay rooted to the foundations, beliefs, and traditions of our Catholicism, they are very important. But, we need to look forward with our faith; we need to step forward with our past, our beliefs and our faith firmly in tow.

Jesus did not give Peter a thick, volume of the Hebrew language version of a Jerusalem mega bestseller called, WHAT GOD WANTS FROM US, and send him forth saying, “Peter, on this really, really, really big book I will build my church…”.

Instead He said, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church…”

Jesus told Peter, “YOU are the church.” Not a building, not a book, not a ceremony, but “YOU.” Jesus called for a walking, talking church carried by each of us to the ends of the earth. Jesus wants our faith to shine and to let the world see it.

God wants His church living and shining inside each of us. As Jesus said so beautifully,

“You are a light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a candle to be put under a bushel basket, they put it on a lampstand where it shines for everyone in the house.” (Mt 5:14-15)

Let’s not hide our faith in the comfort cocoons of the past. Let’s use this past to anchor us and guide us as we build the present and future church. God wants us to be His rock; He wants to be living and breathing sign of the incredible power of His love.

Shed the bushel basket covering the bright light of your faith. Fling it across the room and let yourself shine!

Copyright © 2013, Mike Hays

Mike Hays

Mike Hays

Mike Hays is a husband, a father of three, a lifelong Kansan and works as a molecular microbiologist. Besides writing, he has been a high school strength and conditioning coach, a football coach and a baseball coach. His debut middle grade historical fiction novel, THE YOUNGER DAYS, is a 2012 recipient of The Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval Award. You can find it at the publisher's website or on Amazon.

One response to “Shed the Bushel Basket and Let Your Light Shine”

  1. […] Time is the Catholic’s Hot Wheels oval track. It’s where we shine our light and show the world the power of our Catholic faith. The track is where we do our […]

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