September 29, 2018

Salt and Light

September 29, 2018


Matthew 5:13-20
This weekend’s reading: Genesis 22:1-19


Jesus is teaching a huge crowd [probably comprised of all sorts of people] on the side of a mountain.  He has begun with ‘the Beatitudes’ in Matthew 5:1-12 turning ‘everything’ upside down.  ‘Whoever you are [anyone in this whole crowd], you are here to bring flavor and color into the world so that others will experience godliness.’  Jesus is very specific:

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.

 “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

By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

Can he possibly mean me?  What ‘flavor’ can I offer to others?  Maybe my spiritual gifts.  What ‘light’ do I carry?  Perhaps my faith. 



  • When have you been to a multicultural festival? Close your eyes and think about the aromas of the food and the bright colors of clothing and tents.
  • How did you approach unfamiliar crafts, food, and people? With curiosity? With openness?
  • In what way were you a hospitable guest?


Please pardon this possibly oblique, ‘cheesy’ moment … but Disney’s Small World attraction popped into my head.  It is, after all, a small world!

The Small World attraction in Fantasyland at Disney opened May 28, 1966. Its tentative soundtrack featured the national anthems of each country represented throughout the ride all playing all at once, which resulted in a disharmonic cacophony. Walt conducted a walk-through of the attraction scale model with his staff songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, saying, “I need one song that can be easily translated into many languages and be played as a round.” The Sherman Brothers then wrote “It’s a Small World (After All)” in the wake of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which influenced the song’s message of peace and brotherhood.

It is argued that this song is the single most performed and most translated piece of music on Earth. In 2014, it was estimated that the song had played nearly 50 million times worldwide on the attractions alone, beating out the radio and TV estimates for You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ and Yesterday, which were believed to have been played at least eight and seven million times respectively.

Sing it together here. How many countries can you name?


Dear Lord, when we read your Word, often one thing leads to another. May the thoughts that arrive, come as prayer. Give us opportunities to share our salt and light with our brothers and sisters in the world and to do so joyfully. Amen.