The story isn’t just click-bait, it’s a tragic true story stranger than fiction. Everyone assumed the man lived alone on the Dutch farm near the canal. He was the only person anyone ever saw. He worked a garden and milked a goat. No one knew he was keeping his family in the cellar, waiting for the world to end.
The six younger members of the group (presumably children of the 58-year-old man), reportedly, did not know there were any other people in the world. Until one of them, a 25 years old, wandered out at night and discovered a pub — filled with people.
We might all understand the desire to protect our kids from the world but we can also see the implications of this kind of isolationism. While there is a temptation to recede from the world and its troubles, the Gospel compels us to do just the opposite, preparing our kids our best we can to “shine as lights in this perverse generation.” That’s how the Apostle Paul put it in Philippians 2, “become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
Peter put it this way in his first letter, “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. … Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
Jesus puts it very succinctly: “Let your so shine before others that they would see our good works and glorify God.”
I’ll just put it this way: go be shiny!
We are witnesses to the world God so loves. We are not lights to be kept under a bushel nor in a basement. It has been true since the first generation of Christians and it remains true for the generation of Christians today.
This article was originally published at The Reconnect.
Carmen LaBerge is host of the "Connecting Faith with Carmen LaBerge" radio program, author of Speak the Truth: How to Bring God Back Into Every Conversation and Executive Director of the Common Ground Christian Network.