Week 4: Salt and Light

Matthew 5:12-16

Picture it.

You’re sitting at the table getting ready to eat dinner with your family. Maybe it’s a big meal, like a holiday or other family gathering. Or, maybe it’s just your regular evening dinner with the whole crew. Either way, I’d venture a guess that one question in particular always pops up.320px-Salt_shaker_on_white_background

Could you pass the salt please?

Thinking back to my own family dining experience, this was a very common question. Which brings me to another question.

Why?

What’s so great about salt? Why do we keep little salt shakers at our table at all times?

Ok, so I guess that was really three questions. Still, I wonder why those tiny white crystalized specks have become such a common part of our eating experience.

Obviously, there’s the taste. And, salt is well-known as a food preservative. In fact, you’ve probably heard sermons before where those qualities of salt are discussed. That’s all true, and all helpful. But look back at our passage today. I’d like to go somewhere else with this.

Jesus talks about salt first (we’ll get to light in a second). He says that if salt loses its “saltiness” it becomes worthless. When I read that, it brings two words to mind.

Be ready.

I think the readiness of salt is key. Think about it.

Right now, there is salt that is sitting in a little shaker. It is just ready and waiting to enrich your life in some way. It’s not hiding. There is nothing holding you back from taking that shaker and sprinkling some salt on your food.

The same is true for light. What happens when you flip the light switch at your house? Instantly, the room is illuminated.

Instantly.

That light is ready and waiting to enrich your life, just like the salt in the shaker. I think what Jesus is saying to us is that, as the salt and light of the earth, we need to always be ready to enrich the lives of others. The moment we stop being “others-focused” and become unwilling to share the hope God has given us, we lose our “saltiness.”

This doesn’t mean that we have to be on every street corner screaming at people. No, Jesus says nothing about that either. What He does say, however, is that we need to 1) let others see our good works 2) glorify our Father.

God will take care of convicting people. We simply need to be ready and willing to let our actions show the inner faith within us.

I’d encourage you to read through today’s passage again, and think of ways that you can prepare yourself to always be ready to love and enrich the lives of others for the name of Christ.

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