Salt and Light

This devotional is written by James Glass. 

Matthew 5:13-16

Teaching about Salt and Light

13 "You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

14 "You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
7 He replied, "The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!"


The statements in the passage about being the salt of the earth and the light of the world are absolutes; they are statements of who we are in Christ, The Light of the World, the One who is more precious than silver (and salt). However, salt and light are pointless unless they fulfil their primary characteristics. Salt is either salty or it is not, light is either light or it is darkness. There are no fifty shades of grey here.

I therefore read Jesus' warnings about not losing our saltiness or hiding our light as an encouragement to be who we actually are. Not an encouragement to revel in our sinful nature, nor to be an oblivious dufus unaware of what we're actually like, nor even to be an impression of who we may think we are but to be who we actually are in Christ - new creations (2 Corinth. 5:17).

Light, illuminates. Salt, draws out fullness of flavour* and preserves that which is good. And through staying close to Jesus, inviting him into every aspect of our lives, we find that God illuminates and draws out who we truly are in Jesus: full-fat James, full-fat Margaret, full-fat Nigel.

Through relationship with Jesus, we find that our desires are changed, in small and large ways, public and private. One of my favourite stories from the Life Course is that a guy found that after the weekend away, he went to play a monster/zombie killing Xbox game only to find that he didn't want to kill anything - even big scary monsters! Such was the peace in him; he didn't wish to disturb it.

The ultimate purpose of this though is that we have the same effect on the world, through mirroring Jesus, reflecting him back to the world, pointing others towards him, highlighting and drawing out who they were made to be. And it's here we can see that evangelism isn't an optional extra in our lives - it is fundamental to who we are in Jesus or can we imagine reflecting a Jesus who doesn't engage with the world and share good news? Thought not. Consequently, we shouldn't be hiding our little lights - we should be letting them shine!

So with that in mind, I'd like you to consider whom you're going to invite to the Life Course? Pray for your friends and listen to the Holy Spirit. Would you be prepared to do the course alongside them if that's what they needed?

*For those who don't cook with salt, please don't invite me to dinner

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