You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let you light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5.13-16
Jesus loves a good analogy. He also knows that if you’ve ever been stuck in complete darkness, there’s nothing more powerful than the sound of a striking match. I grew up in Florida where hurricanes are an inevitable part of the landscape. As a child, I didn’t grasp the magnitude of the damage. I just knew school was called off and my family all pulled together to have one huge indoor camping experience. Inevitably, the electricity would go out and Mom would light the oil lamp and set it in the most central location in our house so that we could all see. The simple point of the lamp was to be able to see our way through the darkness of the house. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are called “the light of the world.” Part of our “point” is to make it possible for people to see God. When you think about it, it’s kind of preposterous that God would entrust that analogizing to us, but He did.
What does it look like to BE salt and light? The answers to that question are as numerous as there are Christians in this world. It’s offering to mow your neighbors’ grass when they’re out of town or new to town. It’s paying the bill for the single mom in line at the grocery store who’s rifling through her purse for change. It’s returning an overpayment for purchased goods or stopping to give your information when you accidentally ding the car next to you. It’s ferociously loving and serving your spouse or remembering that the cashier at Walmart is a person with a name and a story. Being salt and light is living with simple intentionality toward others. When their curiosity leads them to ask why you did what you did, listen with your soul to the sound of a match being struck.