Salt & Light Pastor Jim Stegall
What does it mean to be salt and light in our fallen world? It doesn’t take much to see the decay of sin in the world all around us. Turning on the news, opening Facebook, or even just being out in public somewhere reveals the great need for Christ in a fallen world that is riddled with the sickness and scars that sin creates. What is God’s answer to such a world? The death and resurrection of the fully-divine Son of God. But, even with his death and resurrection, in what way does he bring this healing now that he is seated at the right hand of the Father? I believe the answer is that he brings forth this healing in the world through his church by the grace and power of his Spirit.
When Jesus calls us the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16), he is calling for us to be the preserving and changing agents of his grace. In the era in which Jesus said these words, salt was primarily a preserving agent for meat. The owners of the meat would cure and preserve the meat by rubbing it with coarse salts. It was also used to flavor food just as it is used today. God has us on this earth to stop, slow, and hinder the decay of sin. Individually, we can be as salt to our families, friendship circles, and workplaces. As the church, we can affect change for Christ in our neighborhoods, cities, and society generally. As we prayerfully work together as one body, we can bring the flavor of Christ’s righteousness to the world and see healing and salvation happen as a result.
As the light of the world, we are following the one who himself is the light of the world (John 8:12). With humility and boldness, we have the privilege and responsibility of dispelling the darkness in this world by living in the light of Christ. As we are bold to both speak and act, the world will change because of the life-giving power of God’s love. When we open the church doors and let our light out into our neighborhoods and cities, lives change and Christ is worshipped. We mustn’t hide our lamps within the church walls and let our light extinguish, but rather shine his light proudly to those who are lost in darkness, just as we too were saved by that light when we were the ones lost.
All to the glory of the Father, may we actively shine the light of Christ to this world that is in such need of his love, grace, and mercy. We have it, now let us use it.