So my texts are Isaiah 58:1-12; Matt. 5:13-20
I'm actually starting with the Eugene Peterson paraphrase of the salt and light passage:
13"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
I love that! We're the seasoning that brings out God-flavors, the light that brings out the God-colors. It made me think of Psalm 34 "Taste and see that the Lord is good". How do people taste and see God's goodness? Through our lives.
It also makes me think of something Mr. Rogers (yes, that Mr. Rogers) said to my mentor Saleem Ghubril (yes, that Saleem Ghubril) He told him that he made doing good attractive. What a huge complement from such a great man! When I think about my life, do I make doing good attractive? Not in a superficial way, but in a way that makes people want to be about the right things. What about the church? Have we made doing good attractive? I think at most, we've just made doing good look "clean" and sanitary. That's not attractive!
The goodness of our lives should point people to God. Our ritual won't draw people to God. But if we're loosing the bonodage of oppression, if we're feeding the hungry and housing the homeless, those things have a draw. That's where Isaiah 58 comes in. The authentic pursuit of justice and compassion is attractive. People see it and they see God.
That's me. What are you preaching on this weekend?