Sunday, February 9, 2014

Salt and Light

I am out of my routine today.  Instead of going to church and hanging out with my Sunday School children at St Georges Protestant chapel at Garrison Petawawa, I am at work the 2 CMBG Headquarters and Signals. They are getting ready for a big exercise tomorrow and working hard to be ready for it.

I am using the time to hang with them, hear complaints about not getting their day of rest and do a bit of catch up on my chores for the work week. But to start I turned to one of my favorite preachers, Leonard Sweet for a moment of inspiration and prayer on this Sunday.

The sermon is called Jesus Light.  Now one could make a reference to beer with that title, but in acutalality its a reference to the scripture from Matthew 5 about salt and light. Two things stand out for me in reflecting on the sermon for today.The first is the quote below.

In Matthew’s account of the “Sermon on the Mount,” immediately after Jesus lays out his “blessed be” Beatitudes, he lifts up two metaphors of how disciples of the kingdom will be known to this world. They will be the “salt of the earth,” they will be the “light of the world,” a light that will “shine before others.” Salt sharpens flavors. Light sharpens both sight and insight. Jesus is calling would-be followers of the kingdom to sharpen lives by living on the sharp, the cutting edges, the places where new perspectives, new tastes, and new visions are embraced.

Light does not just banish darkness and illuminate corners and crevices. Light also works to provide a new perspective — to put our experiences and perceptions into “a new light.” To be a disciple of Jesus, of the kingdom of God, is not just to be a focused beam of light at some measurable nanometer with laser-like narrowness and intensity. To be the “light” that Jesus challenged his disciples to be also means to continually put a new light, a new perspective, on all the world, to willingly “change up” the “game plans,” the “paradigms,” that we are used to living by every day.

Living on the sharp is exciting and eye opening, full of aha moments, but can one live on the sharp for extended periods of time? I guess if you look at Jesus's life he went back and forth between being on the sharp and times of alonesness, perhaps healing from the sharp edged time.

The second bit of the sermon that shouted out to me was the quote below. So simple yet so powerful. I must remember to use it in conversations with some of the young soldiers when we talk about sin and life on the edge.

The Rev. Dave Stone is Senior Pastor at one of the largest churches in the US, Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. At a conference in Orlando earlier this year he said this: “Satan knows your name, but calls you by your sin; Jesus knows your sin, but calls you by your name.” That’s worth repeating one more time: “Satan knows your name, but calls you by your sin; Jesus knows your sin, but calls you by your name.”

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