Salt and Light

David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:13-16

What’s the most useless thing you can think of? Snow skies in the desert, a flat spare tire, a hairbrush for a man whose head looks like a cue ball? That’s what “saltless,” “darkened” Christians are like, casual Christians who don’t live a productive Christian life.

Salt was a crucial commodity in Jesus’ world. Because of its purifying qualities, salt was used as an antiseptic in the treatment of wounds. Salt is also a preservative very important in an age with no refrigeration for curing meat to prevent it from spoiling. And the outstanding thing about light is its visibility. Once lit, there’s no hiding it in the dark.

So Christ’s word pictures point to the variety of positive, visible roles that Christians are to play in the world. Jesus wants his followers to be a powerful force for good. Just as it doesn’t take a lot of salt to flavor a dish or a huge spotlight to be seen, so even a few Christians in a town or neighborhood, office, factory or school, should definitely make it both a better and a happier place.

When a group from our church went to Trinidad as volunteers, the leader of the mission there taught them a simple slogan that guided their work: Name Christian? Live Christian!

That pretty much says it all.


Help me to be salt and light to all around me. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.