Sermon Recordings MP3 Post:-

20110227am Red Letter Series 2: Salt and Light

Matthew 5:13-16

Intro to Readings

Series: Red LettersLast Week: Beatitudes – Subversive (under the radar)
Masses heard:
When you are poor
when you grieve
when you are persecuted
when injustice burns your gut and you hunger and thirst
when you choose peace instead of succumbing to war
GOD IS WITH YOU!

Introduction

If the beatitudes are the introduction to the Sermon on the mount
AND if their radical message is that God is unexpected with what we would consider to be unlikely people,
then the next part of the sermon switches importantly to us:

If God is with us – and if He
– gives us the kingdom of heaven
– comforts us
– lets us inherit the earth
– fills our hunger for righteousness
– shows mercy to us
– and makes us his children

Then we must be salt and light – KINGDOM PEOPLE

Salt

There is a problem with regard to Jesus’ metaphor of salt – salt is actually very stable as a chemical. It doesn’t lose its saltiness. So what did Jesus mean?
Salt in Palestine came from the area of the Dead Sea – there were a lot of other mineral impurities that made their way into salt – notably gypsum, which in crystalline form looked like salt but was tasteless hence flavourless salt!
Greek word for loosing saltiness (moorainen) also means become foolish.
i.e. It makes no sense to lose saltiness.

What facet of salt did Jesus mean?
– Preserving?
– Flavouring?
– Thirst-creating?
– Purifying?

Light:

We take light for granted. At night these days we have so much light that the astronomers are talking about light pollution! In New Testament times light was a luxury that was very much appreciated and valued. Imagine the traveller for whom the journey from one town to the next took longer than planned. It is getting dark and there is still a way to go. The lights of the city in the distance would be a very welcome sight!

– One of the most used ways to describe God and His people.
– Light: Illuminates, Guides and Protects
– Unthinkable that light does not shine

We are called to be salt and light. We need to preserve Christlike values and attitudes and we need to purify ourselves so that what people see in us is attractive and that they can honestly say that life is better (more flavourful) when we are around.

Isn’t it sad that Christians are often seen as the opposite of the spice of life? Instead of being people who appreciate and love and celebrate life many Christians are characterised as dull party-poopers and wet-blankets. Our lives should bring hope and fullness to those around us. Their day should be better because of their contact with us. This is what bringing flavour to people’s lives is about.

And if we are salty enough, people will become thirsty for Christ who is the Water of Life.

Conclusion

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