Ever wonder why you were born? Or better yet, what is your purpose in life? Guess what – you are not the only one to ponder these questions. Life has a way of causing us to inquire periodically the notion of why we are here.
The Bible reminds us in Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify God in heaven.”
Jesus is conversing with his followers (believers) and in this particular discourse he is sharing the importance of their calling even in the midst of a dismal world where chaos seems to be unfolding at every turn. The text suggests that we are called to radical discipleship, to echo that which Jesus reflected and stood for – salt and light.
Jesus is the source of our light and we are called to reflect that same light in the world. Salt and light are similitudes for both our purpose and our mission in life. If we are going to affect change in the world we must be able to ignite others. I like how Brian Blount, a prolific writer of the New Testament puts it, “Better that righteousness begin from the inside out.”
Everyone has his or her unique call and at times we find ourselves having to return to the point of asking ourselves poignant questions such as: Did I truly hear from God? Am I doing what God called me to? And what is my call or purpose?
Well, according to this text, the “Power of our Purpose” is a God thing. It is a testament for your starting point in life, a commandment to be the salt and light in the earth. Gandhi puts it this way: “Become the change that you seek.” Salt is a very important commodity in society and it serves as two main purposes (yes, salt has purpose) – it serves as seasoning and a preservative. Salt brings out the best flavors. Ever watch the Cooking Channel? My favorites are “Chopped” and “Top Chef.” In just about every episode, the main seasoning is salt – the real thing. Very seldom do you see professional chefs using alternative salt seasonings. This lets you know just how important salt it.
Just like salt, we are called to be salt, agents of Christ preserving the earth until the Day of Judgment. God is holding us accountable for our saltiness (our usefulness in the earth) we have to be different if we want to make a difference.
Jesus states yet another declaration as mentioned earlier – “You are the light of the world.”As light we serve as examples to others. We have an ethical and moral responsibility to the world and one another.
All humanity has a moral obligation under God to one another regardless of ones’ status or title, we have an awesome responsibility. As believers, our light should forever glow even in the midst of darkness let your light so shine. Jesus doesn’t call for our light to shine for popularity, become legends in our own minds, or to make ourselves feel good. Jesus calls for our light to shine so people may see our good works so that people are edified and God is forever glorified.
Our demeanor plays a major role and is yet critical to those we influence. If we claim to belong to Christ but our behavior dictates otherwise, how can we draw anyone to Christ?
How then, can anyone pass what they don’t have? I believe some of us struggle with being true salt and light because if the truth be told, some of us have lost our since of purpose!
The author is senior pastor, Metropolitan Community Church of Baltimore