We have all heard that we should be around the people that we want to be like. That way we pick up the good habits, the drive, the work ethic of the people that we look up to, rather than the bad habits of those we don't like as much. I remember as a teenager taking that to mean "Hang out with the Christians, not with the unsaved so you don't learn from their sinful habits."
Little did I realize that was the opposite of what Jesus did.
Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector's booth. "Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed Him.
Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable people. (There are many people of this kind among Jesus' followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with such scum?"
When Jesus heard this, he told them,"Healthy people don't need a doctor - sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know that they are sinners."
Why do we hide our light? The world needs us to be out there, with the sinners, not sitting in church, wondering when the next time new people are going to show up. Stop being afraid! This is not the time to be sitting and waiting, but doing. In the Great Commission, Jesus said, "GO into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone."
He said GO. He didn't say "Pray that I will send you someone with a willing heart" or "Wait until someone seeks you out". He said GO!
Too long has the church sat back, in a defensive position, taking shots from the world, rolling with the punches. Go on the offensive, take the Good News to those who still don't know it. Shine bright in the darkness. Claim your city, your town, your community for Jesus.
I will not be silent. Will you?