Candles lighting

Best Kept Secret

I’ve been hearing this saying my entire life. People have been telling me that the Orthodox Church is the best kept secret in America. I think this is meant to be a compliment. I think we are supposed to be proud that we have something so special, and nobody knows about it. I think we are supposed to think that makes us special. Well, it makes us disobedient!

The Lord said to his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5.14-19

Christ didn’t say, “You might want to consider letting your friends know about the Church.” He said, “Let your light so shine.” In America we have had this saying backwards the whole time. When we you let your light shine, the light spreads into every corner of the room. We’ve been acting like Christ, “Let your friends peak under the bushel. If they like what they see, then let them come in the close the bushel after themselves.”

“That they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Evangelism is more than just letting people see who we are. Evangelism is inviting them to let their light shine along with our light. It is the beautiful image of Pascha. One light from the Holy Altar becomes thousands of lights in the city, all shining.

Here’s my question, what do people see in our light? Do they see a proud people wanting to keep to themselves? Do they see people who love total strangers, or only friends? It is equally important that we pay attention to what they see in our light. “That they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

PAUL, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men. When I send Artemas or Tychicos to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful. All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

Titus 1:1-5; 2:15; 3:1-2, 12-15

That’s the funny thing about light. It shines no matter what people see. If our lives are worthy of giving glory to God, then our light will bring others to Christ. Since today is the Feast of the Apostle Titus, I will close with today’s passage from Saint Paul’s Letter to Titus the Apostle. May Saint Titus inspire us to always live lives worthy of our light. It past time the ‘best kept secret’ comes out from under the bushel.


  1. JoAnn Metropoulos on August 27, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Our example in how we worship pray and reach out in our Orthodox life is a beacon of light to our friends

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