Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing devotions based on the United Methodist membership vows, where we pledge to support the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. This week’s focus is WITNESS.
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 People do not light a lamp and put it under the bushel basket; rather, they put it on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
In this section from the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is telling his followers that as children of God, we are already acting as salt and light. Why would Jesus say this? Jesus is illustrating the importance of the daily example of how we live our lives, our witness, in the world. We know salt and light are essential to daily life, because life depends on salt and light to survive. In the first century salt was so important that soldiers were paid in salt, and without refrigeration, all foods would perish if not preserved with salt. As followers of Jesus, our daily witness is as vitally important to the world, as salt and light are to life.
Today we view salt as a flavoring that makes food taste delicious. Just the right amount of salt invites having more, like a potato chip-you can’t eat just one! Too much salt repels us and spoils the taste of the food. So Jesus implies that there is a balance involved in being a witness for the kin(g)-dom. Coming on too strong repels, but the right amount invites others into relationship. When our lives don’t reflect our faith, then we’re like salt that has lost its flavor. We become useless and are thrown out where we no longer make a difference.
Jesus says we are the light of the world. We’re meant to shine in the darkness of life like a city on a hill. Our lives are meant to help and guide to those who are seeking, or may have lost their way. Our light comes from the light of Christ in our lives and our witness should shine out into the world reflecting the love of God to others. Our light isn’t meant to be hidden, but put on display for all to see.
The good things we do and the power to be a witness for Jesus is not of our own power, but the power of the Spirit within us.
When we share the love of God with others our light shines and others experience the love of God and give thanks.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
By the grace of God we are the salt and light of the world, sent to be witnesses so others will know the love of God in their lives.
Jesus says you are salt and light, his witnesses in the world. Are you too salty, or too bland or is the witness of the love of God in your life inviting others into relationship? Where can your light shine out today showing others the love of God?
Prayer: Loving Jesus, we are your salt and light, your witnesses in the world to God’s love for us. Help us to remember that each day our lives are a living witness to your grace and love, through all that we do and say. Amen.