October 10, 2013

Seasoned for Service

Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth.”
—Matthew 5:13


Should you and I watch Hollywood movies, read the latest best-selling novel, or listen to music that doesn’t mention Jesus by name? Is a woman working in a dentist’s office doing “secular” work while her pastor is doing more important “spiritual” work? Christians have long grappled with how we should engage in the culture of the world around us.

Today we’re looking at the first of two metaphors Jesus uses to help us understand what our relationship with the world around us ought to look like. In ancient cultures, salt served many purposes. Since it was a preservative, it was often seen as a life-giving agent. For that reason, God instructed his people to season their offerings with salt (Leviticus 2:13). This was a sign of God’s life-giving relationship with his people.

Jesus suggests that we are the life-giving agent in this broken world. God calls us to bring renewal into politics, science, art, education, and every other area of culture. When we live out our Christian faith in all of these spheres of life, we give our world a foretaste of the world to come. This is not a mere human effort. It is the outflowing of what God has begun in us, through Jesus.

God kept his promise to preserve the world even though it meant going to the cross. Now he expects us to be agents of preservation and life. How will you do that today?

Faithful God, you preserved this broken world at a cost we cannot imagine. Help us live out our faith so that the world may glimpse your life-giving power in us. Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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