Posted under The Rectory Bulletin
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).
As a small boy I would sometimes go and stay with my grandparents, who lived on the Kentish coast. It was all very exciting to look out at the ships in the Channel, and to have freshly caught fish for lunch. The much sung White Cliffs were a barren place to walk, as the salt sharp wind whipped around your cheeks and after a time we would be back in the house, all warm faces and cold hands.
As the evening passed, my granddad would gently disappear into a sweet smog of pipe smoke and my grandma would be fussing around at something. Then came bed-time, and brushed nylon sheets crackling with static. Up I would trudge and slip into bed, probably with a copy of The Secret Seven Win Through in my hand. Adventure finished, I would click off the light.
And then it began.
Whatever the weather the light would flash around the room, starting on one wall and quickly racing across to the other side. The lighthouse (or was it a lightship?) was sending out its silent warning. You could screw up your eyes, but still it pulsed. Draw your head into the bed like a tortoise, and still the flashes came. The foghorn, when that went, was OK as you could cover your ears. That light, though! That light.
Oh that our Christian conduct would shine so bright! The city on the hill can be seen for miles around, as it light twinkles on the horizon. “In the same way” urges Jesus “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).