“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a cellar, but rather on a lamp stand, so those who enter may see the light.”
Okay, this and the Parable of the Talents have become common admonitions against Meetings and congregations that become too satisfied with finding a little light themselves– and reluctant to approach people too different from those they already know.The flip side, of course, would be the saying: "Don't give your pearls to swine." In one of Lord Dunsany's stories, there's a witch whose cottage overlooks the edge of the world– and in her garden, the poets are at work, feeding her pigs with pearls. Do they like pearls, you ask? "Not particularly."Anyway, one obvious way to take this saying, in Jesus' day, would be in accord with Isaiah's statement that he (and presumably Israel as well) would be "a light to the goyim." A religion of purity and exclusion didn't serve that end particularly well. Neither did dreams of violent revolt and conquest.Matthew 4.13-16: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill [Jerusalem] cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven."The setting in this gospel is rather different, and I'm not sure where it's going. Next passage…
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