What Connections Have You Cultivated?
Salt and Light
“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 your Father in heaven.
The Fulfillment of the Law
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:13-20 (NIV)
Picture a widowed woman, well into her 80’s, waving from her front window each day to every student who passed by on their way to the large high school nearby. That was Minnie. She did this for many years. One day she received an invitation from the principal to visit their school. He walked her across the street and ushered her into the crowded auditorium filled with balloons, signs, and resounding cheers of “Thank you! Thank you!” She was overwhelmed and quite bewildered. A student approached the microphone, flowers in hand, and thanked her for starting their days outright with her smiles and waves. Her faithfulness to them meant so much. Choking back tears, she humbly responded, “Oh, that was nothing.” But to those students … it was everything.
In Matthew 5, Jesus states that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Not that we might be, should be, or might possibly be in the future. No. We are these things now that can give flavor to heal and provide a guiding light to our world.
Warning label: We are not to be like the Pharisees and scribes who broadcast their good deeds to everyone never giving credit to God’s glory. We are not to be “fake Christians” who pat ourselves on the back for our self-serving deeds.
If this is happening maybe we’ve forgotten who we are. How do we become real and authentic? How do we make a difference?
Jesus instructs us to perform kind acts of love and compassion to His glory. If we lose our saltiness we are of little value in God’s world to fight for peace and justice. If our light is put under a bushel basket, we lose the glow of God’s love to others. The walls of Sheridan do not hold that light in but shine through the windows of our hearts allowing people to see God’s work in the world.
These are troubling and confusing times and will likely be that way for some days to come. But we can make a difference by cultivating those connections with those who need our love and support. It doesn’t need to be a grand news headliner or go viral on the internet. Mother Teresa said it best. “Do small things with great love.” There is much to be done. We can call someone, send a note, drop a treat on someone’s doorstep, and above all…pray for those in need of God’s mercy and love. “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” James 5:16
Jesus taught us best. We are a part of his work. Salt and light. It is my responsibility and yours to live so people may taste God’s presence through us and cast our light into the darkest corners.
Let someone know you care. Be that salt. Be that light.
Good and gracious God, thank you for providing examples for how I am to live my life. Help me to flavor the world with your glory. Guide my footsteps in the light of your presence. Amen
Written by Janece Nelson
Janece and husband, Mike, have been members of Sheridan for more than twelve years. Janece is a retired mathematics instructor teaching at the middle school and college level. They are blessed with two children and three grandchildren.
Janece finds her greatest joy in spending time with her family and friends. Her passion is writing devotions for patients in hospitals and rehabs she sees every Monday as a Sheridan hospital visitor. As a Teammate she also mentors girls at Boys Town. Janece credits Faith Builders and Companions in Christ for her spiritual growth.