Scripture: Matt. 5:11–16
Key verses: (13-16) “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Reflection: Butter and Claritin. Those are the two things I realized I cannot live without. It was not the golden goose shoes my daughter wants or a new computer for my son. We have realized that it is ordinary, common stuff of life that is so holy, because it is necessary to keep us alive. Alright, maybe not butter, but it does make other things taste richer. Right?
It is the stuff the world thinks is cheap and disposable that we need the most. What we need are lamps and salt to get us through the day and that is what Jesus calls us to be.
The stuff of life. The stuff of life, getting the world through another day. Being the salt of life is not about grand gestures but pausing a moment to check-in with a neighbor. It is being present with them without pity or judgement or trying to fix them. Being light is often just bringing some normal everydayness into our neighbors’ deep pain.
Here is the thing about lamps and salt. On their own, they really don’t serve much purpose.
Jesus reminds us that nobody lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel, because the lamp doesn’t shine for itself. And in the same way, you don’t flip on the lights and then just stare at the bulb. The point of the light is to cast light on something else, allow something else to be seen. Light’s beauty is in bringing out what is beautiful in something else.
IT IS NOT ABOUT US.
It is always about God.
It is what God can do in the normal ordinary stuff of our lives.
You are called to be salt and the point of salt is not the salt itself. Salt goes on meat to preserve it, or in a wound to heal it, or in a meal to bring out its best flavors. I love a bit of salt on watermelon, because it makes it sweeter. The salt breaks down the cell walls in the fruit and let its juices run free. Salt’s beauty is in bringing out what is best in the ordinary things of life.
Jesus calls us light and salt — common, ordinary, necessary. Jesus calls us light, a call to illuminate what is beautiful in our neighbor. He calls us salt, to bring out what is best in each other.
So how is Jesus calling you to be salt and light? What corner of the world would he love to see you light up? What part of your life would he love to see you make flavorful?
Prayer: God, help me not have everything focus back on me. Keep my feet planted firmly when I am with another person, being fully present. In the name of the one who was always present with another. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].