Salt and Light
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus calls His followers the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." (Matthew 5:13-15 NIV)
Salt preserves and salt enhances. Salted meat keeps from spoiling for weeks, and even months. A little salt sprinkled on some sliced tomatoes or on scrambled eggs enhances the flavor dramatically.
Jesus calls all of us who name His Name as Savior and Lord to preserve His holy ways in the midst of the decay of the culture around us. He calls us to enhance the sweetness of His love in the world and bring out the flavor of all that is good and true and noble. When we witness to His reality by loving and serving and praying and telling folks about the hope we have in Him, Jesus makes our lives and our witness to be salt in a fallen, decaying world.
Light exposes what is in the darkness and makes it possible for us to see hidden things. I carry a flashlight in my pocket for those times when I am in the dark and need to see. It's the flash on my cell phone that becomes a flashlight with the tap of an icon. That little flashlight has allowed me to read the circuit panel in the basement when the power is out and guided me when I walked through the sanctuary without turning on all the lights.
Jesus calls us to shine the light of His grace and truth into the dark places of this world so people can see Him in the darkness and have hope. When we witness to His reality by loving and serving and praying and telling folks about the hope we have in Him, Jesus makes our lives and our witness to be light in a dark world.
Most of us who follow Jesus can name one or more persons who made Him real and alive to us. Godly parents or a praying grandmother may have been the first to make Jesus known. A teacher. A coach. A dear friend. A coworker or fellow student. Or even a Pastor. God uses everyday people to show other people the love and hope that is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Each of us is a witness. I did not say each of us should be a witness. Nor did I say each of us is called to be a witness. Jesus was right. We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Even if we do not intentionally seek to be a witness, our lives witness. People watch. Children watch. Neighbors watch. Coworkers watch. And they see Jesus in us - or they don't. Either way, the way we live is a witness of what is in our hearts.
And here is the way Jesus finishes His teaching about being salt and light: "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16 NIV) Let you light shine through your good deeds, and let those good deeds glorify your Father in heaven. Don't seek a pat on the back. Point others to the Father who loves you and who loves them.
So cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit to make you more like Jesus. Allow His great love to dominate everything in your heart and in your thoughts, words and deeds. And the witness you make for Jesus will become powerful and effective.
We are salt and we are light. Let's choose to live like it - today and every day!