By Jenna Walmer
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16
Imagine…a bowl of ice cream sitting in front of you: just a brown bowl with vanilla ice cream. This bowl looks pretty empty and insignificant; a lackluster colored bowl with an even less vibrant color of ice cream (I apologize for those of you who are adamant vanilla ice cream lovers). But the majority of us crave ice cream of a specific flavor with toppings galore! I mean, it’s a part of our tradition to eat ice cream together that is flavorful!
In Jesus’ passage about the salt and the light, he creates a metaphor for Christians in relation to how they affect the world around them. My comparison is similar, just in Brethren terms. If we as Christians, the “light of the world”, make no effort to enhance our earth and become too consumed with earthly possessions, we are worthless. We are called to be people who move others in a positive manner. We resemble the sprinkles, flavors, and other toppings that enhance ice cream, or in the Bible passage how the salt seasons the food.
Next, Jesus tells us we are the light of the world! What a great gift that was bestowed upon us. However, we are not to be timid with our faith and Jesus’ teachings. We are to be bold with our speech, step OUT of the crowd, show and share the light of Christ, foster our light and strengthen it, explain our beliefs to others, and embrace, not ignore, the needs of our brothers and sisters. Clarence Jordan, writer of Sermon on the Mount and founder of Koinonia Farm, sums it up perfectly,
“the Christian community is God’s light which he has lit up with the glory of his own Song, and he has no intention of hiding it. When we come into the fellowship, we become a part of that light. While we can determine the intensity of it, we cannot escape the fact that we are part of the witness, for better or for worse. When we decide to live by the Sermon on the Mount, follow Jesus wholeheartedly, and walk boldly with our Lord, we have married the idea, for better or for worse, that we are living the life that we are called to live, speaking the words He wants us to share, and acting according to Jesus’ teachings; there should be no hiding this burning flame.”
As we witness horrible events happening in our neighborhoods, nations, and world, we stop to think, where does the Christian body fit into these actions? What can I do to stop these injustices? How can I be bold? Someone at school is getting bullied, a colleague at work is downtrodden, or a tragedy in the next town over just occurred. Maybe it is something happening in our nation or even worldwide that you are feeling nudged to lend a hand. At this point in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is calling us to strengthen our faith and our portrayal of His unending love. Let your light shine a little brighter the next time something pulls at your heart strings. Step out of your comfort zone to help a brother or sister out. The next time you eat ice cream, let it be a reminder of your strong, seasoned, and bright shining faith!
Jenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100
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