Being called the “salt of the earth” is a great compliment. It means you are reliable, a solid friend, no pushover but consistently compassionate. You may not be the most dynamic character but you are dependable. Contrast this with being called “the light of the world.” It suggests a personal energy that pushes outward, is revealing, vibrant and alive. In other words, it is also important to be assertive and effective. Who get’s paid this compliment? …We do! Each and every one of us! Jesus said that we are both: salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Beginning of the meeting
Optional: Place a bowl of salt at the centre of your meeting space. Hand out a tea-light to each person present. Bring a match or lighter.
Read the reflection above and then read the passage of scripture below. Ask the people to pay attention to what images and impressions come to mind as they read or hear these passages.
Matthew 5:13-16 New Revised Standard Version
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
Reflect on these questions.
- As a description of your ministry, which metaphor are you more comfortable with? Salt of the earth or light of the world? Which causes you more discomfort? Why?
- What causes you to loss your saltiness? When and why do we hide your light?
- Read Isaiah 58:6-8 from The Message, below. How does this passage of scripture help us, individually and as a church, be better as salt and light?
Isaiah 58: 6-7 The Message
This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Allow a few minutes of silence for people to consider the questions on their own. Then invite the people to cluster in small groups to share their reflections with each other. After a few minutes bring the small group discussion to a close and invite people to share in the larger group the common themes and insights they heard.
Optional: Invite each person to place a tea-light around the bowl of salt and to light it.
Almighty God, by your grace alone we are accepted and called to your service. Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit and make us worthy to be called the salt of the earth and the light of the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
End of the meeting
Read the passage once again and ask how God’s Good News has been known in your time together.