St Comb's Well: Shine Your Light

When I visited Portsoy on Scotland's northeastern coast this year, I called at St Comb’s well. This is an ancient mound inside which is a holy watering hole. I was accompanied by a church historian who suggested the entrance to the mound was facing the land, so coastal raiders such as Vikings, would not see the light within and pass their merry way. We cannot be sure this was the case, but it certainly sounds plausible to me. A trace of light so close to sea would tempt bored or hungry Norse robbers to come ashore in hunt of booty and plunder. Any pious Scot would therefore have been protected by the darkness.

This set me thinking. Jesus said in Matthew 5 we should let our light shine before men that they may glorify our Father in heaven. Much as we should not perform good deeds in order to receive men’s praise, our lives should be eloquent witnesses to the radiant God whom we serve. Yet in these dark times when apathy towards the gospel is slowly morphing into plain hostility, is it not tempting to dim the lights and quietly blend in? A few times, I have been tempted to remove sections on our website that refer to our commitment to traditional marriage, or our differences with Roman Catholicism. Similarly, we believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to God- wouldn’t it be much easier if this we never mentioned, so we might enjoy good relations with people of all faiths? Oh, we go on believing the truth alright, even whispering it among ourselves, but to proclaim it and share it is only to invite trouble. Is it worth it? Would we not rather have a quiet life than one filled with opposition and disharmony?

I think the apostle John provides the answer:

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practise the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7 (emphasis mine).

Be bold. Troublers and raiders might come, but He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world (also John).