11.25.13 "That they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven"

Matthew 5: 14-16 You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on it’s stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

There are a few cool little analogies in this passage.  The “city on a hill,” the “lamp under the bowl”… I love how Jesus can be so concise yet make his point so clearly.

When my wife read this passage she instantly wanted me to talk about the “light” and how if we want more “light” in our lives then we must get closer to the source.  She made some really cool points too….but for whatever reason the last sentence is what I wanted to talk about.

That they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

I remember being about 6 years old and having a Sunday school teacher tell me that as a Christian, my purpose was to glorify God.  I’m sure I acted as though that made perfect sense.  But I probably had no idea what that meant.  In fact, as I think about that phrase now…I think it’s total Christian-ese.  Who talks that way out in the real world?  What exactly does it mean to glorify something?

I’m not sure I understood that question until I started coaching little league.  I remember the feeling I got when those little guys went out and played well.  It wasn’t even so much that they were doing anything for me…but it felt good.

Most of the coaches I played for used fear, intimidation and punishment to get results from players.  But I remember one coach who did it differently.  I remember showing up in college and walking past the field each day on my way to class.  Every day he was out there working.  By the time the season rolled around he’d literally spent hundreds of hours working alone to get the field just right.  All of the players recognized the effort and sacrifice he’d made…and when we were asked to stay late, or work harder…we gladly complied.  I felt immense gratitude for him and I hope that he felt great when we played well.

I guess I say all that because I realize now that those experiences playing baseball help me understand that a big part of glorifying God stems from recognizing what he did for me…long before I was asked to do anything.  And now, when I “live well”…he gets to feel the same way I felt when my players did what I asked.  My good deeds bring that joy.

For me, that’s what it means to glorify my Father in heaven.