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 Father in heaven.
I love a big bowl of salty popcorn. And briny pickles on my hamburger. I don’t think I’m alone in being a big fan of salt. It makes food taste better. It brightens up otherwise dull flavors. Even vegetables can taste good with a little sprinkle of salt! And light? I love a bright sunrise on a clear morning. And a flashlight to shine underneath the couch when looking for a lost coin is invaluable. Light makes our world better, doesn’t it? Jesus knew what He was talking about, as usual. These verses are often dissected to the point of meaninglessness, with weird explanations of obscure uses for salt and speculation about the design of lamps in Jesus’ time. Those musings might fill a few pages in a Bible commentary, but we can all understand Jesus’ words just the way He said them: salt and light are good.
We live in a world filled with unpleasant things. We often have to eat flavorless meals and walk through dark rooms. We suffer from illness and anxiety. We stumble ahead without knowing which is the right way to take. We endure long periods of waiting and worrying. We seek guidance from worldly wisdom only to discover we are being led along by someone just as blind as we are. This world longs for salt and light.
Jesus asks us to give the world what it so desperately needs. He calls us to love people in his name and to tell them good news. Jesus asks us to bring cups of cold water to those who thirst and to speak God’s truth to those who are lost. Jesus invites us to join him in sprinkling the salt of hope and joy over hearts bored by flavorless life. He invites us to shine the light of his goodness, mercy and grace into dark corners where people feel helpless and hopeless. Salt and light make the world better, and Jesus wants us to share them with people in need.
Gracious Lord, You give good things to those You love. You make my life better. Show me how I can share Your love with people I know and spread hope in the name of Jesus, through whom I pray. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian