Jesus said, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket…” And what a silly thing it is to say. A few years ago, we might have responded with a, “well, da!” But Jesus doesn’t just say things for the sake of saying things. There is an equally obvious piece of advice imparted here too: fulfill your purpose.
The purpose of lighting a lamp is to let it shine in a dark room. Placing it under a bushel basket prevents the lamp from doing what it was meant to do. Jesus, of course is not dishing out household hints on the best way to lighten a darkened room. He is telling us something about how to live.
Again, it might seem like obvious advice, to let your light, the light of your personality, skills and purpose shine in the world. But, imagine that no one ever told you this before, imagine not even thinking that you had a light that could shine. It is to such people that Jesus was speaking, people who felt valueless, not only by their neighbours and rulers, but perhaps even by God.
Encouraging people to let their light shine becomes a key element in the ongoing mission of God to give the message of God’s love and salvation to the world. God, through Jesus is inviting us to partner with God in proclaiming the message of the Good News.
How can we say, no? How can we say, no, I choose to leave this lamp under this bushel basket? Saying no seems as silly as Jesus pointing out such an obvious thing in the first place. So, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”