Matthew 5:13-20 (NRSV)
Verse 13"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. Verse 14"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. Verse 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. Verse 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Verse 17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Verse 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Verse 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Verse 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Have you ever left the salt out of a batch of cookies? Often salt is the smallest ingredient in a recipe, and you can’t taste it in the finished product. To the uninitiated baker, it may seem like a strange addition, and yet, without it, a cookie is one-dimensional and bland.
Walking with Jesus isn’t easy. We who know God’s grace and respond with our whole lives may be a minority in our neighborhoods and workplaces, and our lives may seem strange to those who don’t know Jesus. Our call, though, is not to be big or fabulous or well understood, but to be faithful. In a world of sugar and flour, we are the salt in the cookie. And a little pinch can go a long way!
Living God, help me to know you so I can know my place in this world. Give me courage to live fully in your radical love, even when it seems strange to those around me. Amen.