After talking about the Beatitudes last week, I thought it would be worthwhile looking at the rest of the Sermon on the Mount. this will cover a few weeks, but I think it will be interesting because it seems to hit on a lot of the needs that we have as a group.
This week we are going to have a service of salt and light! Salt and Light are used in various ways in the Bible and conjure up very different emotions depending on where you find them. However, in this passage, Salt and Light are both considered to be positive; not only are they positive, but they are something which we are to strive for.
Let’s start with salt. In agriculture, Salt is something that needs balance if there is too much salt in the soil, nothing will grow. The same is true if there is too much salt in your food, it is inedible. But the right amount of salt will bring flavors to life. Christians are called to be the salt of the land. Being the proper seasoning we can bring out the best in others and help others to see the fullness of God.
This brings us to light. The light and darkness analogy is always a good one, but in modern times with so many sources of light it is often hard for us to remember what a sacred commodity light is. Think if you only had one candle in your home and the power went out, that little flicker would be all you had to make your way around, possibly even be the only way you could stay safe.
If you had your light and you kept that light to yourself, you would get all of the benefits, but in doing so you would deny others theirs. Also, if you had the light and wanted to protect it so much that you were willing to hide it, you run the risk of the flame burning out completely.
In the analogy, God is making us his light in a very dark world. He is calling us not to sit back and hide from the world but be engaged, with the bringing the message to others. This helps the light to grow person by person, household by household, and so on.
In both the salt and the light analogies, Christ is foretelling the Great commission in a sense that we have a responsibility not to sit on the knowledge that we have but to go out in the world and share it.
As you prepare this Sunday, if you have time I want you to try an experiment. Make your house as dark as you can. Move away from mirrors and shiny things and light a candle. Take note of how much or how little that one candle will light up.
Then meditate and pray about what that means to you. Ask yourself if you can be that light or if someone else might be that light for you and what that means. Are you just starting to flicker or do you need to be relit? Are you burning bright, or do you still rely on others to see clearly. Play around with this and see what God might be saying to you.
Rev. Dr. Bryan James Franzen