Monthly Archives: May 2015

Not Called to Hide

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and
put it under a basket, but on a stand,
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 who is in heaven.
~Matthew 5:14-16

Practically speaking, a city on a hill cannot be hidden because it is up so high it lights up even darkest night sky. In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is teaching that the Christian community is created to be like that city. The church is God’s light to the world and called to be so transparent and authentic that it cannot be hidden.

There are times when it is hard to be part of the church and part of God’s light to the world. In fact there are times, I am tempted to run for cover. But just as no one would ever think to put a lamp under a basket, the Holy Spirit compels me to not even consider hiding the light that Christ has so gracious called me to share with others.

Moreover, these words Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in The Cost of Discipleship have reminded me that I cannot deny my call:  Flight into the invisible is a denial of call. A community of Jesus which seeks to hide itself, has ceased to follow him.

May we, in Christian community, follow Jesus authentically and transparently, because we are not called to hide!

A Restored Life

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste,
how shall its saltiness be restored?
~Matthew 5:13a

In this part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is asking by what means can one’s saltiness become salty again.   And if Jesus is asking the question, it seems to me, it must be important for us to consider how salty we are and how to live a restored life. For me, this translates into something like: by what means can my soul be restored so that I am once again seasoned for ministry in which God is inviting me to participate.  

I am spending this month reflecting on what it means to live a restored life. The Study Guide for John Ortberg’s book Soulkeeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You offers these characteristics (pg.124) for consideration:

~It is able to say yes or no without anxiety or duplicity.
~It is able to speak with calm confidence and honesty.
~It is willing to disappoint anybody if needed, but it’s ready to bless everybody.
~It has a mind filled with more noble thoughts—just good thoughts—than could ever be spoken.
~It shares without thinking.
~It sees without being judgmental.
~It is so genuinely humble that each person seen is an object of wonder.

As you reflect on these questions, do you think that your soul possessing these characteristics would cause your saltiness to be restored? Certainly!  To that end, may we allow our living Lord Jesus Christ to graciously restore our saltiness and our souls for the sake of God’s Kingdom.