“Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket....” (Matthew 5:15).
To light a lamp is an easy job. But to keep it burning till the end, you will have to fulfill certain responsibilities. Jesus Christ told that you are the light of the world. Not only that. He also counsels saying, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
If you being the lamp, burn continually with brightness, your flame should never be put under a basket. If done so, the lamp will extinguish for want of oxygen. So never put the burning lamp under a basket.
In Tamil, "Marakkal" is a basket-like object used to measure paddy. In modern days it has been forgotten and the Kilos and litres have occupied its place. But still, the word "Marakkal" is denoting a trade or profession.
Some people who are workaholics, will always be busy in their profession and will not be concerned about their lamp of spirit, assigning reasons like 'overtime' 'tuition' etc. to skip the Sunday Worship. They fail to give importance to the 'burning flame of winning souls' within them. Some people will work very hard throughout the day and due to their tiredness they skip their bed time personal prayer. Similar to a lamp put under a basket, the flame of Salvation within them will gradually become dim and subsequently will extinguish.
A businessman had once placed immeasurable love over God. He will involve in the ministry and render witness too. But once when he was blessed by God, he began to backslide. Firstly, he stopped attending the worships and then he also stopped praying. Finally, he sold himself to idol worship. What a pity!
That is why God cautions with love saying, 'do not light a lamp and put it under a basket.' Paul the Apostle sadly writes. “for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed" (2 Timothy 4:10).
The 'marakkal' not only indicates the trade but also the greediness over money. Some people go to the extent of committing any sin for the sake of earning money. The Scripture repeatedly cautions saying, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Dear children of God, the greediness over money should not extinguish the light which has been made to burn within you. The simple reasons like business, profession and money should not become causes for you to lose the eternal blessings of God. Never forget that you have been called to burn brightly for the sake of God.
To meditate: “For you are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness” (2 Samuel 22:29).