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SALT AND LIGHT

Date: 
February 5, 2017
Speaker: 
Rev. Terry Martinson
Reading: 
Matthew 5: 13-20

THEME: Jesus refers to believers as “salt” and “light,” but what kind of lights should we be?

INTRODUCTION

  • The sermon last Sunday focused on The Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew… I described Matthew’s gospel as a “teaching gospel.” It includes everything Jesus wanted his followers to know about him, about God’s Kingdom, and about themselves.
  • Today we focus on the verses from the Sermon on the Mount which immediately follow The Beatitudes, the portion of Jesus’ teaching where he refers to his followers as “salt” and “light.”
  • With your help I want to turn our attention to light and create a sermon.
  • Jesus said to his followers, “You are the light of the world.”  (Matthew  5:14)

LIGHT

  • The Bible is framed in light…
    • The third verse of the Bible – Genesis 1:3 – reads: “Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.”
    • One of the final verses of the Book of Revelations reads: “And the city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light.” (Revelation 21:23)
    • The Gospel of John points to Jesus as the one true light (John 1:9,) a claim that Jesus makes for himself when later in the gospel he said, “I am the light of the world.”
    • The gospels remind us that, as followers of Jesus, we are to walk in the light and let our light shine before others.
    • I always liked the song: This little light of mine… I’m gonna let it shine.
  • To those who lived in the first century, the teaching of Jesus about light made very good sense…
    • The typical home in Palestine was very dark with only one circular window – perhaps no more than 18” in diameter…
    • Lamps were a essential – the typical lamp was nothing more than a bowl of oil with a wick floating in it… these lamps were not easy to light – remember, this was the age before matches, therefore lamps were kept burning continuously…
    • When a family was sleeping, an earthen bushel container was placed over the lamp to prevent a house fire, but when the family was awake, the lamp was placed high on a stand so that all corners of the room would have some light. (Bouknight)
  • Jesus said, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In 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.” (Matthew 5:15-16)
  • Jesus said to his followers, “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
  • The question I want to put before you this morning is: What kind of lights should we be?

DISTRIBUTE HANDOUT WITH 15 TYPES OF LIGHT

WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT EACH OF THESE?

(1) CANDLE

  • Simple candle dispels the darkness and the gloom… light shows the way out of darkness…
  • To those living in darkness, a candle is a symbol of hope…
  • Give all a reason to hope…

(2) TEA LIGHT

  • Symbol of welcome and hospitality, comfort and warmth…
  • embrace others…
  • Let no one ever go away from you with the feeling that they do not belong…

(3) LIGHTHOUSE

  • Lighthouse provides guidance along the journey…
  • Often sits at the mouth of a safe haven…
  • Beacon… We are called to guide others in the way of Christ…

(4) SPOTLIGHT

  • Point to Jesus Christ… like John the Baptist…
  • In everything you do, may Christ be illuminated...

(5) SEARCH LIGHT

  • Search for the lost…
  • Rescue others…

(6) FLASHLIGHT

  • Reveals that which is hidden…
  • Shows the way out of darkness…
  • Help others to see the truth which is often not visible…

(7) NITE LIGHT

  • Source of comfort… quiet, protective presence… just being there is very important…
  • Even when our light goes out, God’s light stays on…

(8) HEADLIGHT

  • Points forward… points in the right direction…
  • Much better to be a headlight than a taillight…

(9) MATCH

  • The spark of a match gets the fire going…
  • Be an enabler… share your enthusiasm… let others catch your spirit…

(10) CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHT

  • Be colorful… celebrate life… have fun… enjoy!

(11) GLOW STICK

  • Glow sticks don’t last… burn our quickly…
  • Don’t let your enthusiasm wane…

(12) SUN

  • Source of warmth and energy…
  • Source of all light…
  • Live in the light of God…

(13) MOON

  • The moon really isn’t a light… the moon reflects the light…
  • Let your life be illuminated by God’s light…
  • Let your light be reflected light – reflecting the light of Jesus Christ who lives within you…

(14) LIGHTNING BOLT

  • Powerful energy… like the Holy Spirit
  • Light up the sky…
  • Inspire others…

(15) ENERGY EFFICIENT BULB

  • Let your light shine wisely and efficiently…

CONCLUSION

  • You are the light of the world…
  • Shine…
  • Let God’s light shine in you and through you, so that seeing your good works, others will give glory to God…