Today’s passage helps us understand qualities of discipleship
and puts forth two images for Christian community: salt
and light. Salt is an amazing ingredient that flavors and preserves.
Yet, when “salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be
restored?” The history of humanity is strewn with examples of
our many failures to live as God would have us live. In many
situations, we have lost our flavor, our saltiness.

Jesus moves on to mention light. The sole purpose of a lamp
is to give light. A person does not light a lamp and then hide
it. He called his disciples to be points of light much like a city,
which cannot be hidden if it sits on a hilltop. They are to shine
not to bring attention to themselves but to “give glory to your
Father in heaven.”

Jesus goes on to say, “I have come not to abolish [the law]
but to fulfill [it].” Jesus expands the disciples’ understanding
of God’s commandments: The disciples hear Jesus’ call to love
their enemies, to forgive those who sin against them, to turn
the other cheek when rebuked or insulted. Love is the light that
came into the world through him. In these verses the disciples
are to be salt and light. They are to maintain their flavor and
tastiness in order to flavor the world with the gospel. And they
become light bearers to the nations.

When we follow Christ we also bear his light . . . we bear
the Light that came into the world: “The true light, which
enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” (John 1:9). We
too become like a beacon on a hill so that others can find their
way in this often darkened world.

Lord, help us to see ourselves as you see us: your gifted children called for service in the world. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 5:13-20

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Lectionary Week
January 30–February 5, 2017
Scripture Overview

Living genuinely out of a deep inner sense of connectedness to the Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) is a common theme for this week’s texts. By living out of this spiritual center, we match our actions with our words and avoid the judgment the prophet Isaiah casts upon the people of Israel. Psalm 112 is a hymn of praise for the blessings God brings upon those who revere and follow. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he urges them to move beyond their irtation with wisdom and to go to the deeper regions of the Spirit, the source of true wis- dom. And, nally, Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, calls his listeners to move beyond the mere words of the law to the deep meaning and intent of the law.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Isaiah 58:1-12. When have you felt strengthened by God for a particular task? How did your light “break forth like the dawn”?
• Read Psalm 112:1-10. Where have you been a light to those struggling in the shadows?
• Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-16. When have you faced unimaginable circumstances and had no words to speak? How did God’s wisdom help you in those times?
• Read Matthew 5:13-20. How do you ful ll God’s intended purpose for you as salt and light to the world?

Respond by posting a prayer.