This is the early parts of Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount. Here Jesus is speaking about the responsibility of his follows, what kind of people Christians ought to be. Here, he brings up salt and light.
Using salt as flavor. When it comes down to it, most food on its own is fairly bland. Fruits being a general exception. But consider a vegetable, plain bread, water, even meats. Such things are good on their own, they’re adequate. But were generally not satisfied with it. We need to add something. A spice, a dressing, a sauce. Have you ever eaten a plain potato? I mean, just a cooked or baked potato. No salt, no butter, no pepper, no sour cream, not deep-fried, just plain.
There are a number of things that add to the world, to not make the world boring or bland. Various forms of entertainment, sports, comedies, things that give excitement and good feelings. What the Christian adds is something much more important. Entertainment and excitement are good on the emotional level, though they do not necessarily provide satisfaction. What we as Christians are supposed to add is goodness, holiness, charity, confidence, hope, joy. These are the things that last, that people can have and use in every moment of their lives. It affects how we respond to blessings, to sorrows and tragedies, and triumphs. Remember that salt, as well as adding flavor, is also a preservative. Somethings things only add brief moments of excitement, but what Christian action brings can be held on for life.
The actions of Christ, the goodness of Christ, preserves us for eternity, and our actions in imitation of Christ also help to flavor and preserve the lives of those we serve. We are told how to do this. “Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own.”
St. Paul said that he came to preach the gospel with a demonstration of Spirit and power. What is that? That means putting the gospel to action. That our faith in Jesus Christ, his gospel message, it not just knowledge, but action. It’s not just ideals, but a way of life to put to practice. Not just to know about God’s goodness, but to experience God’s goodness. Not just to talk about God’s ways, but to demonstrate God way’s through our own actions. This is what it means to be the light for the world. Light naturally spreads and illuminates, reaching every corner that it can. And we must do the same in our own lives.
Jesus, though, gives us a warning. What good is salt that isn’t salty? What good is sugar that isn’t sweet? What good are Christians that aren’t living as Christians? Jesus’ answer is nothing. They add only to the blandness and cynicism of life. Practicing Christians however show forth the divine life, the life of God, which dispels darkness, removes gloom, and brings forth hope and great joy in the life of God, and of his promise of life everlasting. So be that light, be that salt, so that others may see the glories of God.