“You all are the salt of the earth… You all are light of the world,” said Jesus to the disciples.
Salt and light do not exist for themselves but have a purpose. That purpose is a universal one, because every human--and indeed pretty much all creatures and plants--need salt and light. Jesus expects us to bless all people, not some people; all creation, not some parts of it. Salt and light are small parts that serve the whole.
“Don’t miss the forest for the trees!”, Jesus was saying. Notice the big picture--yes, the universal purpose to serve the whole and also, that you’re not alone.
You’re part of a forest. You’re a single grain in God’s big salt shaker, one ray of light in God’s sun. The “church” is Jesus’ name for you and all the rest of Jesus’ disciples. So stop going it alone and start going with Jesus’ community of followers. It’s a constant temptation and for people like us a lifelong task to move from “me” to “we.”
When Jesus calls us salt and light, he’s asking for intentional action. Do what Jesus does. Be who Jesus is. This is what Jesus expects of us. Orient your life according to the Beatitudes, for example, just like Jesus did. It’s not automatic. Church-going is a start but is by no means the whole job. Salt that loses its saltiness will be replaced.
Rest with Jesus now. Let his love, mercy, and self-giving comfort and lead you. Ask Jesus, “What is my part to do, with your church for your world?”
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
715 South Third Street
Clinton, IA 52732
(at the foot of the south bridge)