Salt and Light

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Salt and Light
Text: Matthew 5:13-16
Occasion: General
Audience: General
Theological Tradition: Wesleyan
Topic: Light, Salt, Salvation
Author: Jeff Mammen


We are to get close to this falling world so they can see things clearly and be preserved.

How to Get There

  • The world is trying to find true community, perfect relationships with others. But all relationships unravel without a relationship with God.
  • Jesus saved us so that we have a relationship with God and through Jesus can be part of a new community in this world.
  • Jesus created community with 12 people of very diverse backgrounds and yet that group went out and turned the world upside down.
  • The beatitudes are right before this and illustrate how profoundly different this community is from what the rest of the world considers good and normal.
  • If we can free ourselves from the values that our culture holds so strongly, but Jesus goes against, then I am free, free to serve the weak, the poor, like Jesus did. And free to transform the world. The more the light shines in our lives the more we can shine for others.
  • Jesus is forming a revolution, and we are part of it. We are His new community, with Jesus' values.
  • And because we have taken those values in the Beatitudes, Jesus calls us salt and light, as long as we hold to those values.
  • This is not phrased as “you should be” or “go and become” but “you are salt and light.” We are, right now. But what does that mean.
  • Salt preserved meat from going rancid, we preserve the Earth. The Earth is rotting, it's losing itself.
  • We are to keep this world from getting worse., to step in and live out God's values. It doesn't take much salt to permeate an entire soup and makes its presence known.
  • This isn't about just holding up a standard, but about getting in there, engaging society and being there in the problems. Salt doesn't stay in one spot in the dish and flavor it, but spreads out right next to the food it saves.
  • The closer something is to the light, the more it knows heat and the more it can see and be seen. We have to get close to them for them to know what is light about us.
  • Jesus came close to us and we saw how dark we were and felt the warmth of the light. We are light and must get close to them for them to see us, and themselves, for us to help preserve.

Things to Watch For

We take light for granted today, most of us living in cities with lots of light. Many people have never been somewhere without any lights. This is not what the early readers would have experienced.

Likewise, the use of salt has changed a great deal in the last 2000 years.

This can easily be a two part sermon, taking Salt as one part and Light as the other. This would allow more specific and numerous examples to be made.

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