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Salt & Light – Sermon from Sunday 5th February

Article posted on 6 February 2017 Leave a Comment

Matthew 5.13-16

Our gospel this morning is about Jesus calling us into discipleship. The two metaphors he uses, salt and light, both describe and prescribe who we are and what we should do for, and in the world. The salt needs to engage with something else before it can do its work. The light is of no use if kept hidden. The message is one very much about engagement with, and in the world.

Last week we heard how Simeon was affirmed, here we hear how we are affirmed. To be called salt and light highlights the value and trust Jesus placed on his disciples and us to extend and participate in the mission of God.

Salt reminds us of our distinctive capacity to bring about goodness in the world. We are reminded also that for it to be of any value it is necessary to receive and nurture before we can influence. The effectiveness of our witness is dependent upon the effectiveness of our own relationship with God.

As salt, we are called to be value and bring out the rich flavours in others for the benefit of all. We are called to preserve justice for the poor and vulnerable, without which they would perish. We are called to be a voice to preserve peace and harmony, courageously standing up for what we believe.

It is very much about being proactive in shaping the kind of society we wish to live in. A similar metaphor Jesus uses is yeast in bread. It is a tiny ingredient but has a big influence.

The metaphor of light calls us to consider our role as a gathered community.

One of the key benefits of light is that it enables us to see colour. The definition of colour is the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a consequence of the way it reflects or emits light.

For us to be light then enables us to see, value and celebrate diversity in the world. To be light enables us to see the goodness in others and the gifts and richness they bring into our relationships. We do not live in a monochrome world but one where each individual is unique and brings a unique contribution of vivid colour and diversity to our world.

Light is essential to growth, and so, as light, we are called to nurture the growth in each other; to promote human flourishing encouraging each other to become the person God wants us to be.

At St George’s we have a specific relationship with light. Our solar panels. These panels contribute to protecting our environment but they also generate power for the benefit of others. We draw upon free light in order to transform it into something else which is of benefit to the wider community. A practical action which is shared.

As Christians, our light should not be kept hidden. The true value of light, the true purpose of light, is only shown when the light enters into places of darkness.

We are being light when we enter into places of unbelief, fear, violence, sickness, sorrow. Taking a cue from our solar panels, how can we transform our light to generate a difference in such situations and to bring comfort, peace and hope to those who need it.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus announces his mission by quoting Isaiah 9.2. ‘the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone’

This is the mission of God.

What is ours?

Amen.

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