Bible Society of South Africa

Salt and light – 14 March 2022

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

Salt and Light

13“You are like salt for the whole human race. But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it.

Matthew 5:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

Christians have long grappled with how we should engage in the culture of the world around us, and today’s parables about salt and light help us to answer this.

In ancient cultures, salt served many purposes. Since it was a preservative, it was often seen as a life-giving agent. For that reason, God instructed his people to season their offerings with salt. (Leviticus 2:13) This was a sign of God’s life-giving relationship with his people.

But these metaphors, salt and light, contain a warning as well. Impure salt can lose its saltiness. So can we. And a covering placed over a candle can suffocate the flame. Through wrong habits or sinful neglect, we can emit dimmer and dimmer light till only a flicker remains.

Jesus suggests that we are the life-giving agent in this broken world. God calls us to bring renewal into politics, science, art, education, and every other area of our modern world. When we live out our Christian faith in all spheres of life, we give our world a foretaste of the world to come. This is not a mere human effort. It is the outflowing of what God has begun in us, through Jesus.

God kept his promise to preserve the world even though it meant going to the cross. Now he expects us to be agents of preservation and life. How will you do that today?

Prayer: Faithful God, you preserved this broken world at a cost we cannot imagine. Help us live out our faith so that the world may glimpse your life-giving power in us. Amen

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