Salt, Light and the Law of Christ
This Sunday we return to the greatest sermon ever delivered: Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus taught and preached using metaphors and after beginning with eight radically-empowering Blessings, Jesus engages subject of his sermon with two of them: “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world” (Mt. 5:13).
Salt and light bring forth the best in what they come into contact with, revealing the beauty and savor of living. Salt preserves and enlivens the food we eat. Light reveals and illumines the places we live in, covering creation with grace. Salt and light are sensate and incarnate. Who wouldn’t savor a slice of freshly-baked bread, spread with fine salted butter? Who wouldn’t delight in the roseate full moon’s rise? On the other hand—who enjoys unsalted popcorn? Or searching for lost car keys in the dark? Salt and light exist not merely for their own sake, but to preserve and guide our living—and to glorify the good works of God.
So why, do you think, would Jesus say these things to us–the man who told us, “I am the light of the world” (Jn. 8:12)? The answer lies in the subject of the Sermon itself: on doing the will of God. Jesus said, “I have come not to abolish (the law) but fulfill it” (Mt. 5:17). And by naming us using these metaphors of salt and light, he expects us to do the same. How can we do that? By “carrying each other’s burdens,” says Paul the Apostle, and “fulfilling the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
Who can you come alongside of this week, to preserve and enliven the best flavors of who God made them to be? Whose burdens can you help carry? To whom can you offer the lamplight of wisdom, guidance, encouragement and love? As the Prophet said, “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly…you shall call and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, ‘Here I am’” (Isa. 58:8-9).
Salt and light, indeed.