Shine a Light

Our Reader Christine preached this sermon on Sunday 5 February. Here it is for you again:

I’m going to take us all back in time, not quite like Dr. Who and not as far back as Jesus’ time, but to the 70’s for those of us who remember those years.

So, let’s begin.  Who remembers the power cuts? no lights, no T.V.s, but torches and candles handy in nearly every room at night.

In some ways it was rather exciting, a bit of an adventure especially when we as children played shadow animals using our hands on the walls, usually rabbits, birds and dogs and, of course, it was a great time to play hide and seek!!

So, we all know the importance and effects of having lights that we can switch on and off as needed and how it changes the places where we are, in the street, in the house and even in the garden at night, but what about salt.

Well, if we go further back in time and I can only remember this vaguely, but there was a time when we had no fridges, let alone freezers.  Milk was kept on the cellar steps, in a cold store cupboard or in buckets of cold water and shopping was limited to everyday essentials, there was no bulk shopping or even supermarkets then and I think most of us know that salt then was used mainly as a preservative.

We all know what salt is used for now and we know why we have lights, but does Jack understand the difference between salt that we eat and ‘used’ salt and what about how to use a light.

Let’s listen in to Jack and his Mum, you know the one I mean the one who was sent to sell a cow to get money and came back with beans.

SKETCH – Jack and the Beans by Ann Bossingham (Year A)

That all seems a bit silly doesn’t it, but I bet you’ll all remember the theme when you get home and maybe have a little chuckle about it.

Sometimes Jesus, said things that seemed a little silly and we forget that he too had a sense of humour.  I can imagine the people looking at each other and thinking, what is he talking about, we all know about salt and how it’s used and does it lose it’s saltiness?  However, he may have been meaning the way you use salt.  If you use it on food or as a preservative it needs to be scattered or spread, or if it’s used as it was in Jesus’ time and still is, for skin creams and soap it has to be mixed.  But, if it’s just stored in a jar on the shelf, it’s just a white powder and that all it is, it’s saltiness is not being used.

Jesus calls the people, us, the salt of the earth possibly because it is only when we carry or scatter his message to those around us that it does any good.  Jesus wants us to make the earth a better place to live in and we should not live apart from the world, because that is like us losing our saltiness.

If we just sit back and don’t do anything Jesus’ message could diminish in time.  It’s not particularly what we may say, but rather what we do as disciples of Jesus that spreads his message like salt, salt that touches others and carries the light to the world.

The light that Jack put under the bucket didn’t lighten anything, but Jesus wants his light to be seen.

Bethlehem is situated right at the top of a hill, as many settlements then and now are.  So, it’s easy to see a town from a distance, even at night with lamps lit, like a lighthouse to shipping and as disciples Jesus wants us to be seen by the world around us.

He doesn’t want us to hide our ‘good works’ they should not be like a light under a bucket or bowl, but we are often reluctant to talk about what the church does for others.  It’s not about ourselves, but about the work we all do, sometimes unconsciously that will draw people’s attention to God and Jesus is asking us to be that light than can be seen for miles.

It is only by being salt that we can also be light, by scattering and spreading Jesus’ message and by drawing people closer to the light of Christ.  It’s by being involved in what’s going on in the world, getting our hands dirty and serving as he would serve.

Let us pray

Lord, help us spread your message and to draw others to your light, in the name of Jesus Christ.


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