When Jesus told the people that they were the salt of the earth, but had no flavor, that was not a compliment. Perhaps they had not noticed. Maybe no one had ever dared to tell them.
Jesus was talking to folks who had lost their flavor—their reason for living. They didn’t want to shine anymore. Lots of the same symptoms are prevalent today. Many folks are angry, disappointed, frustrated. Big temptation is to withdraw. Disgusted with the world, some people show their anger on the road. Road rage is dangerous! And they yell, do sign language (none that can be illustrated here of course). They play “chicken” with their car by weaving in and out of heavy traffic. Others choose to take their anger out on their family. Some take it out on fellow workers. Abuse of booze is still popular. When salt loses its taste it is good for nothing. Losing the desire to live is dangerous to our health. The majority of us are usually dealing with the symptoms but ignore the causes. We are more concerned for the outside than what is happening on the inside. Creams, lotions and potions are sold in great quantities. Exorcises, therapies, 5K runs. They can help, but the emptiness won’t go away—the anger hovers over us like a dark cloud. The apparatuses of distraction provide some temporary relief. Las Vegas, Broadway shows, local entertainment—when all is done, we still have to face the person in the mirror. If our light has grown dim, then the darkness can take over. Our source of light is Jesus Christ.
At times we forget because the problems can be overwhelming. The illusion is that we are all alone—that no one cares—that no one is listening. Not true. Perhaps we haven’t reached out to anyone. Or we are so angry with our past that we will not allow ourselves to experience forgiveness. Yet, the voice of our guardian angel is consistent—reminding us that we are loved without conditions. Whispering in our ear that God forgives us—that there is nothing to fear. Each day is born without mistakes. Regardless of what our past has been, we must never lose hope.
The people that Jesus saw the day He spoke about salt and the lamp, must have been pretty down in the mouth—they must have been dragging. So the Lord reminded them of who they were—challenged them to look at their potential. All of us are trying to do our best. Once in awhile we mess up—some of us mess up “big time.” Reconciliation is a marvelous remedy. Takes only a few moments to admit our fault and have our flavor restored. Unlike salt that goes flat—we are rechargeable. We get chances—over and over—to come back to life. Unlike the lamp whose light grows dim—we can light up again. But not to hide—get stuck under a basket—but put on a lampstand—to give witness of the marvels God has done for us. Miracles happen every day and we hush up about them. Our testimony can change someone’s life—can help them come closer to Christ. We cannot remain silent after God has touched our heart. Doesn’t mean that we need a soapbox or a pulpit—just the opportunity to share. Others will know just by the look on our face—our attitude—the way we treat them. If we have the light of Christ, we will avoid sin; be peaceful; cultivate our prayer.
People of the light are not afraid; they don’t run away and hide; they never want to hurt others. Jesus, who is the Light of the world gave us the perfect example—He loved us all the way to the cross.