Matthew 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Why apologize for being Christian?  Many times, believers make the mistake of thinking that they should, in certain circumstances, repress or hide their faith in order to avoid conflict or persecution.  Or even more concerning, we think we might offend if we quote scripture or agree to pray for someone.

The opposite couldn’t be truer.  We have been called to “let our light shine before men”.  As noted, we should want others to see our faith so that we can bring praise to God.  Remember, we have a spirit of power, not of fearfulness.

Again, should we apologize for being Christian?  Well, yes – in the sense that the Greek root for the word apologize means “to speak in defense”.  We should definitely defend our faith – but how?

The answer is that we should “speak in defense” through our actions.  This how a servant speaks.

Scripture tells us in James that faith without action is DEAD.  We are called, through the greatest commandment, to love our God and our neighbors.  We are instructed in Matthew to “judge not” otherwise we will be “judged”.  We should let our light shine through non-judgmental love – this “defends” our faith.  Remember – we are to love the “sinner” and hate the “sin” – actively.

The Tribute in Light, illuminated only on September 11 in New York, offers a solemn reminder.  The selfless actions of the many that died will not be forgotten.  The memorial stands as a testament to the commitment of those who protect our lives – without regard to faith, race, status, or origin.  May this encourage Christian believers to let our light always shine before men, in the same way, without reservation, that our good deeds may bring praise to God.