Reading: “You are the salt of the earth… “You are the light of the world. Matthew 5:13-14.
Good morning, happy Tuesday, and many blessings.
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:13-18) Jesus doesn’t say, “You will be the salt of the earth” or “You have within you the potential to become the salt of the earth.” He says, “You ARE the salt of the earth”—indicating that, by God’s grace, the miracle of our transformation has already begun.
Salt has little influence while sitting in a saltshaker. However, it is of great value once it is mixed, in the right proportions, in our food. When it is sprinkled on food—or, better yet, cooked into food—it transforms the food. So also, Christians sitting alone in the comfort of their homes are unlikely to make much of a difference to the people outside their door—the people who need Christ. It is as we rub elbows with others, both Christians and non-Christians, that we have the opportunity to bring a Christ-like flavor to their lives.
People value salt. They use it not only for seasoning, but also as a preservative for food. Like eyeglasses, its usefulness exceeds its size. Salt is inexpensive but, if it were not, we would still require it—not only to enhance or to preserve food, but also to sustain life. Salt then is a perfect metaphor for the people of God: We have a responsibility to transform the environment in which we find ourselves, just as salt transforms food. We are often few in number, but it is no matter. Just as a few grains of salt can make a big difference in food, so also a few faithful Christians can make a big difference in the world.
But we are to be also the light of God to this dark world. How? We're to lead morally, to point the way to God, to warn them of the dangers ahead, to serve, give, and sacrifice -- to show them the love of God. We will change the world one small kindness at a time. Light is a very common metaphor in the Bible. Along with darkness, light is often used to contrast knowledge and ignorance. Here, it almost certainly stands for the world’s opportunity to perceive the truth about Jesus. The world is “in the dark” about God, but Christians “turn on the light.” Light allows people to see. We can’t see without light. Christians show the world how much God loves them and what Jesus has done to restore their relationship with him.
We are meant to be conspicuous to others; “A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” Other’s eyes are to be upon us. A light bulb has no other purpose, nor do we! God takes obscure men & women, dignifies them with His character and puts them on display. Lights are used to mark streets. Ever been through a town when the power was out? It’s very confusing and unnerving. Airport runways are marked with landing lights. Ports have their channels marked by channel markers. How bright is your light for Christ?