Be Salty, find the light that shines Jesus urges his followers. After the most famous sermon ever spoken, Jesus does not hold back. He elaborates on the commandments as an illustration of the Blessings he has just preached on the Mount.
Jesus tells us not to lose our flavor, not to hold back. Jesus urges against going with the flow or letting the world’s values overpower us. After teaching about the countercultural blessings that God gives, Jesus bolsters us up.
We are the salt of the earth.
Don’t lose your saltiness. Salt is essential to being human. We have as much salt in our blood as the ocean! Salt is effective, it enhances the flavors that are already present.
Just as blessings enhance our lives.
Blessed to be a blessing, that’s who we are.
Be the light that shines in the darkness, do not step away from mercy and justice, live and preach and be the things that are blessings.
Taste and See the Kingdom of God.
Do not hide the poor, be in community with them, embrace those who mourn, find the meek, stand beside those who hunger for justice, live with those who seek mercy, pureheartedness and peace.
Our good works build the kingdom of God. God is no longer limited to Israel, all the lights of the world come together to make the city on the hill.
This is the fulfillment of the promise, the beginning of fulfillment of the kingdom, the elaborate grace of universal forgiveness, the law will be made full and overflowing. Because we are incapable of doing all of the commandments, Jesus will fulfill them for us, so that we can try to follow them, again and again and again.
This passage is very clearly a fulfillment of Isaiah 58 (who may be Jesus’ favorite prophet? An interesting thought). How do we taste and see the Lord? It is not by fasting away from things, it is in the doing of the salt and light things.
Isaiah values the fast of loosening the bonds of injustice, to share food with the homeless, to clothe the naked. Isaiah says this is how our light shines. What are we, as God’s people and church doing to make Christ’s light shine? How are we living into the Kingdom of God in such a way that goes beyond keeping to the letter of the law of the commandments?
How are we justice makers?
How are we Salt & Light? How do we taste and see?
What does Paul mean when he tells the Corinthians that we are the brain of Christ? He points to our foolishness and weakness, unable to comprehend the greatness of Christ. And yet, even so, in our small humanity, we are the brain of Christ. We can come to know like Christ, and I cannot help but think that to know things like Christ is to do the good works of peace, justice and to purvey grace and love throughout the land.
One of my former colleagues, who eventually left ministry, noted that the Christian should be the least judgmental person in the room.
Both because we should leave judgement to God and because we have already been judged and deemed worthy of love and grace. If this is how we are judged how can we not value one another the same?
I think Jesus is trying to spur transformation of the soul and energy for good works, (and Paul subsequently). Not another measuring stick for humans to compare and contrast to one another.
In fact the blessings preface negate all judgment, turning what we think we know about who is blessed and who is righteous on its head. This is the opposite of health and wealth gospel.
This is about the basics.
Salt and Light. The ingredients to Taste and See the Kingdom of God.
Righteousness endures forever says Psalm 112. Justice is that which cannot be measured, but gives all light and hope and salt for us.
Come let us taste and see the kingdom together.
Let us know how God is speaking to you about the kingdom, or if some other light/knowledge from the Holy Spirit is shining forth. Comment about where the RCL is speaking to your community this week.
Katy Stenta is a solo pastor at a tiny church that is bigger on the inside in Albany, NY for over eight years and blogs at firstname.lastname@example.org She is also the co-founder of the fledgling TrailPraisers inclusive Worship. When she is not dreaming up projects and ideas, some of which creep into the church, she plays with her three boys-boys or goes and visits her husband at the library, while he works, to read.
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