Given my passion for all things culinary I like to think that Jesus uses the image of being salt to mean we are to flavor the world not overpower it. After all the purpose of salt is to enhance a dish and bring out the flavors that would otherwise be missed. In the same way light illuminates what is already there by creating a contrast making an image more interesting. We are to flavor the world and shine light upon what is already there. Salt of the earth and light of the world celebrates the human spirit which is able to overcome insurmountable obstacles and endure hardship and suffering with courage and fortitude. These things are not exclusive to the Christian church though for too long in our arrogance we have acted as if salt were the whole dish and light existed for itself. That does not mean there are not bitter dishes that cannot be salvaged or darkness in the human heart that no amount of light can banish. But the salt of the Gospel flavors the best qualities of being human and the light of the Gospel shines on what is noble and good. In the same way that salt without a dish to flavor it is useless and light with nothing to illuminate serves no purpose the fulfilling of the law and the prophets doesn't add to what is already there, it just makes it more visible and if you like, more appetizing.