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.
How do you understand what it means to be righteous? Do you ever feel right with God? If we live only by our feelings, we might never feel like we are righteous. Each day we are made aware of our short comings. We come to realize that we are often our own worst enemies. The word of God declares a new reality for us. “You are the salt of the earth.” “You are the light of the world”! These declarations can help define us in new ways as Jesus teaches us to become what he declared. We can claim these declarations and live them out each day of our lives. As we live by trusting the promises of God, we know that God has made us righteous. The light of God shines forth boldly as we love our neighbor as we are challenged to do.
God has made you who you are and by the power of the Holy Spirit creates opportunities to shine forth God’s love to the world.
Gracious Lord God, by the power of your Holy Spirit make us shine for you and live lives of praise. Amen