Salt and Light, Tasty and Bright

Matthew 5:13-16
1 Kings 17:7-16 / Psalm 4:2-3,4-5,7-8

You are the salt of the earth… You are the the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket.
(Matthew 5:14-15)

Lord, Your Word is the lamp to our feet,
The salt that gives taste to our life;
Make us radiate to all that we meet
Your Good News of love shining bright.

[Jesus told His disciples,] “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.” (Matthew 5:13-16)


Immediately after our Lord Jesus gave His beautiful discourse on the Beatitudes, He taught His listeners the similes of salt and light. By telling them “You are the salt of the earth,” He was emphasizing their importance in God’s kingdom. Salt in those times was a precious commodity, used not only for flavoring, but as a preservative. It could spell the difference between life and death especially during long journeys where food would spoil without it. As God’s people, His followers would not only spread the seasoning of the Beatitudes, but also preserve the Good News of the Scriptures, and their enduring Covenant with God since the time of Moses.

By telling His followers, “You are the Light of the world,” our Lord was exhorting them to blaze the path to a new life with the lessons that he had imparted to them. Now that He had brightened their lives with the truths of the Beatitudes, they could not keep this enlightenment “under a bushel basket.”

Salt is the cheapest ingredient in the recipe, but just a pinch of it can give flavor to the whole pot of soup, just as a single light bulb can brighten the whole dark room. Our Lord Jesus never aimed for a large number of followers when He started His ministry on earth. In fact He only picked twelve men. But the power of His Word and the Holy Spirit converted thousands when a humble fisherman stood up to speak, and he enlightened them like a single light on a lamp stand. (Acts 2:41)

Christ is calling each one of us to be “salt of the earth.” By immersing ourselves in His Word, and praying to the Holy Spirit for guidance and inspiration, we can give flavor to the mediocrity and conformism that seem to have pervaded our traditional forms of worship. God wants us to be unique, creative, and tasteful. “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord!” There are many rich and delicious ways that we can serve Him. Our influence as Christians living the Gospel values will also help preserve the traditions of our faith that have been handed down to us through thousands of years. Jesus is our True Light, (“I am the Light of the world”) and He wants us to transmit His radiance, as the moon reflects the light of the sun, so that those “who follow Me will not walk in darkness, but will have light and life.” (Jn.8:12) Those who stand up to declare themselves for Jesus, sharing their life testimony are His “salt” and “light”.

Lord, may our lives be like salt, pleasing to Your taste; and may Your light shine through us when we give witness to the goodness of our heavenly Father. Amen.

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