This may make me a dork, but sometimes I like to read different translations of the Bible just for fun. A word translated slightly different can open up a passage in a new way- even one that I have heard many times. Plus it reminds me that that Bible was not written in English and that it has brought meaning to people over thousands of years, each generation seeking God's guidance for their own experiences.
Here's my favorite example for today- Matthew chapter 5 verses 14 and 16 read "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden...In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." This translation from the New International Version (NIV) makes me think, "This Little Light of Mine, I'm Gonna Let it Shine" and the candle lit on a dark Christmas Eve night that then is shared throughout the Sanctuary and leaves me with the idea that I can be that candle.
Same passage, different translation, this time from Eugene Peterson's version he calls The Message. "You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill…Be generous with your lives. By opening up to others you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."
This translation invokes images of the autumn leaves showing off in the sunlight. Without the sun shining on them, they look a bit drab, but at the right time of day they seem to dance with beauty. It's like all of a sudden they changed out of their sweats and into a sequined leotard, reflecting all of that light poured onto them.
We are called to shine on people, everyday events and interactions, so that God's generous love is known. A sparkle can be brought out of anyone when a light is shining in their lives. We can be that light, bringing out the God-colors everywhere we go!