Matthew 5:13-16 The Message (MSG)
Salt and Light
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.
14-16 “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.
When I’m out walking, whether it’s just along the road or through woods or countryside I’m always looking at the plants and flowers that are around. One particular day I came to a house that had 2 flower balls hanging either side of the front door. They brightened the house up and from a distance they made it look quite attractive, but as I got closer I could see they were obviously not real, they were artificial, I felt disappointed. I continued walking and came to a house which had 2 or 3 hanging baskets along the front, they were full of brightly coloured flowers and trailing greenery, vibrant, and alive, such a contrast
This got me thinking!
Which ones are we like ….. Are we alive, vibrant showing Gods love for us and for those around us, sharing with others what He has done; or do we lack lustre, is the colour of our life muted? are we shy because of our own uncertainty, we haven ‘t got the confidence to talk to others about Jesus.
Are we real, or are we pretending to be something that we’re not?
What do I mean by being real?
If we go to auctions or buy on line can we be sure we’re buying “the real thing?” Sometimes people pay huge amounts of money for a work of art, painting or sculpture, or perhaps jewelry, only to find at a later date that they’ve been conned, it’s not the genuine article.
Do we get caught out sometimes and then become disillusioned. disappointed or do we do things which disappoint others and ourselves. We don’t necessarily intend to upset or disappoint others, but it happens, our life perhaps doesn’t live up to their expectations, we let them down somehow! We give them a false impression of who we are!
While we were away on holiday, one day, Colin and I were taken to an Island, Colin and Mark ( my nieces husband ) had their fishing gear and were fishing in the shallows, whilst I walked along a stretch of uninterrupted sand, just at the waters edged.
The sand glistened in the sunlight, it was soft, and fine and as I walked, my feet sank into it edging its way between my toes. As I went nearer to the waters edge, it became firmer, the water was lapping over it, and suddenly my footprints became clear, visible. It made me think of the Footprints Poem.
The poem is about Jesus walking with us, and in times of trouble He will carry us, in the poem the footprints were clear, precise, but can we however relate to the prints in the soft sand, not clearly defined ? Do we see clear footprints in dry sand? There are marks where we have trodden but they are not very clear and defined, it’s only when the sea has washed up the beach and the sand has been soaked by it that we can sees here feet have been firmly placed. Our walk with Jesus can be a bit like that, when we’re getting on with life, doing out own thing, not really looking to God to direct us, we can become dry and dusty. We’re going through the motions of our faith, but not allowing God’s love to soak into our innermost being, His love doesn’t permeate out soul. The edges of our life with God become fuzzy, blurred, not very clear,a bit like the footprints in the dry sand. However, when we allow God to soak us with His love, and we absorbs that love into our innermost being then others will see more clearly what God is doing in our lives. It’s not very easy to do that, it means we have to spend time with Him, talking with Him, listening to Him, just being with Him. By being with Him, we will grow to be like Him, and His light and love will show through us to those around us.
We all go through times of trouble, it will be different for each of us, but when our faith is firm, in those dark difficult times He will be there, walking along side, but when necessary, He will carry us.
Time of reflection