Potato chips are a Saturday treat in our house. We know that they’re not exactly healthy food, but they are so delicious! Part of the appeal is the satisfying crunch, but better than that is the salty flavour. Can you imagine eating salt-less chips? We once bought chips that advertised having less salt. We were trying to make a healthy choice but we regretted it. I would rather have fewer chips, but have the good stuff. The salty, flavourful good stuff!
Jesus knew that salt was good too. He even compared us to salt! “You are the salt of the earth,” (Matthew 5:13) He said. This saying of Jesus’ is a metaphor. We aren’t really salt of course! Jesus was making a point about our lives as followers of Him. Someone else paraphrased Jesus’ words this way: “You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?” (Matthew 5:13, The Message) That is why we are here! God wants us to pick up His “flavour” and share it with others.
Jesus puts this same idea another way when He says, “you are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). God is so good that it is as though He shines a bright light. The closer we are to Him, the more of that “light” we soak up and reflect to others. Jesus also says our light is “like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house” (5:14-15). In the same way, Jesus wants us to let our “good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (5:16). God works through us to bring light into the darkness.
* Get two glasses of water and put salt in one but not the other. Can you figure out which one has been salted just by tasting them? Why would Jesus compare us to salt?
* Grab a flashlight (or anything else that makes light – a lamp or flameless candle, for example) and turn out the lights. Turn on the flashlight and notice what happens around it. Try to cover it up. Can you do it? How is this like followers of Jesus being the light?
* For families with older kids: Find a tealight candle, a lighter and a glass container (a mason jar or drinking glass for example). How long do you think it will take for the flame to go out? Adults, light the candle and then cover it with the glass container. The light will only burn for a few seconds. The flame feeds on the oxygen in the glass container until it is all gone. When the oxygen is gone, the light can’t shine anymore. What might the oxygen represent? How do we put up our own “glass containers”, limiting our oxygen?
This Week’s Challenge:
Talk about what it means to you to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” What are some ways to apply this everyday? How can you encourage one another to remember these truths?