We are in our second day of Matthew's blessings and woes....still in the blessings, which to many of us sound like woes. Jesus says we are blessed when we: are reviled, and persecuted, and have evil done against us for false reasons, and accused of terrible things because of Jesus' name. Woohoo, sounds like blessing, doesn't it. Jesus goes on to say that our reward comes later, like the persecuted prophets before us. He then goes on to say that we are to be the truth tellers to the world by being like salt, and like a bright light that cannot be extinguished.
Salt, when used correctly, can enhance and bring out flavors that would have remained hidden. In a similar manner, light takes away shadows, preventing things that might be hidden from staying that way. We are that salt that brings out the true nature of people, allows them to live into this kingdom Jesus has created for us. We are that light that can illuminate hidden places where the kingdom needs to be experienced by those living in those shadows.
As it was in Jesus' time, and through the centuries between now and then, this can be a dangerous and challenging way to interact in the world. Dangerous and challenging because we continue to be called to model a way of operating in the world that runs counter to how our culture, our society,trundles on. We need to point out that there are poor people, starving people, individuals treated incorrectly because of where they are from, or what they look like, or because they are "different" from "the norm". We are to be the salt that brings about awareness of those less fortunate and forgotten and mistreated by society. We are to turn the attention of society to these areas that need assistance and fair treatment and find ways to help those less fortunate.
Blessings, yes. Difficult, yes. As part of the Body of Christ, being salty and bringing light is who we are to be. The rewards are not only in heaven, they are seeing the change, no matter how small, wrought in the world by our saltiness and light.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Art: Textured Cross, jfd+, 2009