Salt and light


Wednesday Reflection


10th March 2021

...On the other hand...

13  "You are the salt of the earth",

14  "You are the light of the world"

.... Matthew 5

There are people in our world
who "give shape" and those
who "take shape".
Some people's lives are shaped
by strong inner values and beliefs.
They pursue those values
and beliefs in their outer world
and help to shape that world.

On the other hand,
there are those who take most of
their cues from the
world around them -
from the values and beliefs of
peers and the culture.
It is the world that shapes them.

Paul expressed this in terms of,

"Don't be conformed to this world,
  but be transformed by the
  renewing of your mind.."

....Rom. 12:1

Then there are people in
our world who are "Givers"
and those who are "Takers"
We all know people who hold a view
that goes something like,
"People shouldn't have to work
if they don't want to -
there are plenty of people
who like to work."
or, "life owes me!"

I used to meet plenty of those
in prison!
And then there are the ones,
you know them,
whenever there's something
to be done - church fetes,
coffee mornings,
school barbeques -
they're there,
sleeves rolled up,
getting stuck in.

Jesus was very clear about
who his followers were to be
in this world.
His words are, in fact,
a statement of God's view of
who we are:
   "You are the salt of the earth" v13,
   "You are the light of the world" v14

What a powerful thing for God
These were astonishing statements
to make - especially in Jesus' day.

Salt was so valuable
in the ancient world,
that the Greeks called it divine.

The Jews of the Bible would make
a covenant with each other
by using salt.
There were times when Roman soldiers
received their wages in salt
In fact the Latin word for salt
is the root word of salary.

It is hard today to understand
the amazing value of salt
in the ancient world.
Unless perhaps for those of you
who grew up on the farm years ago.
What is salt useful for?

Salt can be used to purify a wound
(You've heard the phrase
to rub salt in wounds.)
When there is no refrigeration salt
is used as a preservative.
In cooking bringing out flavour -
very useful.

Now - in plain English,
here's what Jesus adds
to his comments
   "If salt isn't salty,
   it's of no use and
   If light doesn't shine,
   people can't see!"

In other words,
make use of what you've got -
if we don't, we're useless.

Jesus makes it clear that
we are to be "Shapers" of our world
and "Givers" to our world by being
"Salty" and "luminous".
But how?

Let's think back to the
properties of Salt
Purification - we are called to
bring healing to the wounded.
Preservation - our values help
shape our groups and all we come
into contact with.
Flavour - we need to bring
the spice of hope,
love and joy to our world.

And what about the function of light?
Vision - to help people see
who they are in God's eyes.
Direction - to offer the way to
searching souls.
Reflection - to let the character
of Christ shine through us.

God's view, of who we are, is:
   "You are Christ to the World!"
This is scary!
What a responsibility!
What a privilege!

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me'
sung by Selah
(Lyrics Video)
via the link shown below.