Jesus teaches: “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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your God in heaven”. (Matthew 5:13-16)
Salt and light? What’s that about?
If we think about ‘salt’ and ‘light’ for a minute, one thing is clear: these are things that CHANGE their environment around them. They leave a mark. They serve a purpose. They make a difference.
OK, so if this is true… let me ask another question: what changes, what leaves a mark, what purpose is served when salt is added to an already salty meal? What changes, what leaves a mark, what purpose is served when light is added to an already lit room?
In our normal, human, cultural, social thinking it is a worthy goal to find like-minded people, hang-out with those who are similar to us in life, and to seek comfort, security, and affirmation by fitting-in with those around us.
But, Jesus is asking his followers to ‘rub off’ their saltiness and their brightness in places and with people where there is no salt or light. In other words, Christ-followers are called to spread their faith, love, and good works beyond the comfort zone of people, places and things that are like us, safe for us, and secure for us.
According to Lance Ford and Alan Hirsch in the book Right Here Right Now: Every Day Mission for Everyday People (Chapter 9) our mission as Christ-followers isn meant to be lived-out beyond the walls of the church or within the confines of church programs and events. The mission we are on is not to, in the first place, bring people into the church… but to bring the love of God into the world by our faithful and hopeful actions and examples.
Of course, this can be a scary thought for many people. We might think that we are not qualified, we are not faithful enough, we don’t know enough about the Bible or church to really be salt and light Christ-followers in the world. But, this is part of the Good News… that if we are earnestly seeking to love God with our whole mind, heart, soul and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves… we are already qualified for the mission and we’ve already got our salt and light to share.
Let’s get out there and share it!