Saturday, February 08, 2014

Pour on the Salt & Turn on the Light

Readings for February 9th 2014 are those for The 5th Sunday after Epiphany
  • Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12) • 
  • Psalm 112:1-9 (10) • 
  • 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16) • 
  • Matthew 5:13-20

  • Coffee is a mixed blessing.
    Often when I visit my sister it is my job to make the coffee
    (this is largely because I don't believe anyone can make coffee as well as I can!)
    There was of course the unfortunate day when I mistook the salt for the sugar
    and my coffee was undrinkable!

    The whole point about salt is to give flavour
    but to give the right sort of flavour,
    in the right sort of place.
    And Jesus makes the same point about light;
    you don't get batteries for your torch
    or a new fixture for your kitchen
    so that you can sit in the dark.

    Taste & Light
    The light that we give at baptism
    is a light to bring us out of darkness
    into God's marvellous light
    - a light which exposes evil
    - a light which shows us the way to go
    - a light which help us show the way to God to others

    I would suggest that this is not just a call to you and me as individuals
    but also to us as a community
    and as a community of the Church, the parish and the nation

    So we might ask how does our parish, church, family (or wherever we identify our community)
    - expose evil
    - show the way to go
    - help us to show the way to others

    We could suggest:
    that when we are confronting prejudice, when we are standing against dishonesty,
    standing up for the rights of the friendless
    then we are shining the light.

    We should also see that we need to train ourselves in what it means to be a good Christian
    Lent is coming up, and is a good time for us to get back to Christian basics
    Brushing up on prayer, 
    on spiritual discipline
    practising what we preach with more verve.

    AND we should always recognise that the purpose
    is not just for our self edification
    but so that others might be drawn to the light.
    We want the light to be for others as well as for ourselves..

    Not always good at that, 
    it sometimes seem a bit hard
    yet it should be our catchcry.
    The Gospel for others.

    Finally, to all this we add salt..

    I think this suggests that all this should be tasty!
    I sometimes worry that we are very British in our spiritual tastes
    We like it bland 
    with lashings of brown!

    Where, we might ask, 
    is the flavour of our community?
    Can we give ourselves permission to be more adventurous?
    In the words of the musical Godspell
    But if that salt has lost it's flavor
    It ain't got much in its favor
    You can't have that fault and be the salt of the earth

    So what can we do to spice up our faith.
    What can I do to add flavour to my life, my faith, my community?

    Perhaps this is a challenging question
    but Jesus gives it a priority which makes it important for us.

    Should we be a community:

    • that does hospitality well
    • that prides ourself on caring for families
    • that thinks music should have a high priority
    • that looks to engage the community on controversial issues
    • that looks for way to welcome those who the rest of the church finds difficult
    These are just a few suggestions:

    You gotta stay bright to be the light of the world
    You gotta live right to be the light of the world

    Let's give ourselves permission to be tasty and to be bright

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