You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.Matthew 5:14-15.
When Jesus told his audience that they were salt and light, he was telling them what their responsibility would be to the world in which they moved around. Furthermore, he said that they were “good for nothing” if there was nothing distinctive or extraordinary about the way they lived.
You could say that salt and light represent different aspects of the life of a disciple. Salt refers to the person-to-person influence they are to have – similar to the way salt operates in food or in cleansing a wound.
Light, on the other hand, illuminates and makes it impossible for darkness to exist. The creation account says that before the illumination of the sun, moon, and stars, the universe was a dark and chaotic place. Light brought the order we now recognize as day and night, the enabling of life, and the vibrancy of sunlight.
In the Gospels, Jesus is described as the light that dawned on us. Throughout his ministry we saw what that meant for him to be light – telling people the truth, confronting when needed, and encouraging always. Light.
Light illuminates stuff that you couldn’t see before. Light exposes things that skulk around in the dark. Light makes life possible. Source of vitamin A. Causing photosynthesis. Clear. Unambiguous. Things like QAnon and people who lie about everything on their resume can’t stand light.
It’s impossible to be a disciple of Jesus while preferring the uncertainty of shadow or darkness. These are all who don’t like to be seen in the bright light of truth and day. On the other hand, the disciple of Jesus is true and prefers the brightest light. Authentic. Full of integrity.
Being light, the disciple of Jesus avoids hypocrisy, is guileless, and is full of truth. When a person first encounters this way of Jesus, s/he knows that they have seen something extraordinary in the world. Sometimes people are so used to the darkness, they actually derive comfort from it. Like Gollum. Our world dies without the life-giving light of the authentic disciples of Jesus.
Prayer: God of Light. John said that “those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” We want to be that kind of authentic, real, and honest people. Who travel in and with light. Whose light is obvious to those in the darkness. Please fill us with your light. In Jesus’ name. Amen.