Being salt and light
Sunday happened to be salt and light Sunday at Grace. It’s not really a holiday or even an annual event. It was simply that part of the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew where Jesus says that we are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” (see Matt. 5:13-16). Some days I wonder what in the world he was thinking. Human beings? Us? Salt and Light? Salt is meant to enhance the taste of other foods so we are meant to enhance the lives of others; light is meant to shine the way for others to see so we are meant to be a light on someone else’s path. Yes, yes I could have preached in 20 seconds or less, but you have to get your money’s worth, especially THIS month – it is financial stewardship time you know. So when is it we enhance life for others, when is it our lives shine a light on a path for others to follow?
Stealing, or maybe borrowing, or maybe honoring by stealing and borrowing from theologian, professor and preacher, Rev. Dr. David Lose, I suggested we keep a Salt and Light “log” this week of when we see people being salt and/or light or when we notice in ourselves that we’re being salt and light. I don’t know if anyone is doing that, but I sorta am. A little practice what you preach I suppose. Monday I ran to get my haircut since I missed my appointment last week with a few things going on, and I watched as a grandson brought his grandmother into the salon to get her hair done. She wasn’t completely clicked in to what was happening, but her face lit up when she looked at herself in the mirror which I thought was the cutest thing ever. Her grandson stayed close by as the shampooing and trimming and drying and “fixing” all occurred. And at the end he pronounced her “pretty as a picture” to which she looked at herself again in the mirror and her face lit up with a smile again. Yup, salt and light, right there.
Grace has a rather special young adult coming to worship nearly every week. She is very enthusiastic to be here, a wonderful 5-6 year old spirit, and does best when she has a friend provided to sit with her. Do you know that Grace has formed a team of “friends” who partner at worship with her? Last Sunday we had some electrical issues, we’ve since found out a squirrel hit a transformer and a regional breaker blew, as did the squirrel from my understanding. Things were a bit chaotic and our special friend also came 30 minutes early for worship. Her first question to me was “where is the pastor?” smile. Admit it, you have wanted to ask me that same question on more than one occasion! She would not hear of me being the one, I didn’t have the big black robe on of course. In my bit of being overwhelmed already by the morning thinking, I realized one of her “friends” from Grace was here preparing for Sunday School, so the pastor in question started hollering the friend at Grace’s name as she walked down the hall, as only my intercom without needing an intercom voice can do. She came out, I told her my challenge, and she said absolutely she would take care of our friend and have her help prepare the Sunday School classroom for the kids that would be coming. THAT was salt and light right there, yes it was.
All of us can name imperfections in and around us. We can critique and criticize everything from someone’s driving, to economy and politics, to deciding that the Chief’s defensive problems all fell on the shoulders of one player. We can decide that the virus is over, the virus is not over, the virus whether over or not has caused every bad thing to happen in every part of our society and is the reason no one seems to want to do anything anymore but complain. ORRRRRRRR, we can decide that in the midst of everything that is hard and complicated and overwhelming, that we will positively and intentionally look for salt and light moments, that we will log them in a word or two, and then maybe, just maybe, we’ll share one or two of them with one or two other people and spread some positivity where we may not even know it was needed!
It may seem a little simplistic, and it certainly won’t solve all the problems in the world, but if it enhances a little life for someone, if it sheds a bit of light in someone else’s darkness, then for a minute, or maybe two, there is grace!