On our recent holiday, our family spent considerable time walking through lush, green Kiwi bush. Kauris, Tawas, and Rimus towered overhead, bedecked with epiphytes, as we wandered through a forest floor clogged with fernery in all shapes and sizes.

Every now and then we would see the brilliant white underside of New Zealand’s national emblem, the Silver Fern, lying amongst the leaf litter. However, when we tried to identify where the leaf came from, all we could see was ferns. From head height the Silver Fern was virtually indistinguishable from every other fern carpeting the forest floor. Turn up this leaf, ‘No, not that one’. Turn up that leaf, ‘Not that one’. Turn up another ‘Oh, it’s a Silver Fern!’.

In time I began to identify the subtleties that marked a Silver Fern without first needing to turn its leaf upside down. But it took a while. 

It reminded me of many Christians, perhaps even myself. On the outside, to a watching world, we’re virtually indistinguishable from anyone else in society. We hide our light. We blend in and nobody notices. And yet, as followers of Jesus, we’re a national emblem. We are called to represent, as ambassadors, the Kingdom of God. This should not be.

Jesus said, ‘You are the light of the world… People don’t light a lamp and put it under a bowl… So, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven’ (Matthew 5:14-16).

Don’t be a Silver Fern believer. Let your light shine for all the world to see. Shine for your King.