Friday, February 4, 2011

Epiphany 5a - conclusion

Church of the Light - Ibaraki, Japan - Architect Tadao Ando

Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 112; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; Matthew 5:13-20

I feel the need to add a thing or two to yesterday’s post. While I do think Gospel salt and light flavors and illuminates the good and noble aspects of humanity, all the things worth celebrating about being created in the image of God, it also salts the injuries caused by sin and shines a light on all that has gone horribly wrong with God’s creation. So the image of salt and light is more than just an enhancement. We are transformed by the encounter and in turn become agents of change. That’s why Isaiah writes of a fast of justice to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them. It is what gives confidence to the psalmist that “good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.” Healed by the encounter, bathed in the light of grace we have the mind of Christ and perceive through the Spirit, “what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived…” So we are salt of the earth when our actions enhance what is good and just and pure as well as the times when the painful word must be spoken as salt rubbed in a wound so that healing might happen. And we are the light of the world when we shine on all of life that is wonderful and mysterious but also when the harsh light of judgment exposes human rebellion and the pain and misery caused by evil intent and wicked actions. When the light of Christ shines through us the good works before others that comes from a fast of justice is the feast of victory, for whenever salt and light make this world look more like the world to come God is praised.

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