“You are salt. You are light. Jesus said so.”

Mike Kinman on Sunday, February 5, 2017:

What if we are salt and light not just for ourselves but for the world. For the whole world? What if the same salt that was Cesar and Dolores is in us? What if the same light that burned in Rosa and Martin burns in us? After all, Jesus says so. What if the world is waiting for us? What if it all depends on us?” 

Jesus said: “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.”

You are salt. You are light.

Salt preserves and salt sustains. Salt adds flavor. Salt brings out the flavor of life.

Salt not only enables life, salt is the stuff of life. Salt is the stuff that makes life worth living.

That is you. That is us.

Jesus says so.

Light … is fire.

Fire that burns from a lamp.
Fire that burns inside you.
Fire that burns so that others might see … and know … and come fully alive.

That is you. That is us.

Jesus says so.

You are salt. You are light.

That is you. That is us.

You – plural. You – singular.

You are salt. You are light.

Not just for yourself.

Jesus says: You are the salt of the earth.

You are the light of the world.

If you lose your saltiness, what will happen to that world?

If your light is hidden, what will happen to that world?

Nothing good.

Jesus says so.

You are salt. You are light.

Cesar and Dolores heard the voices:

“You are nothing. You are worthless laborers. There are plenty more where you came from. Take what we give you and be grateful for it!”

Cesar and Dolores heard the voices. And yet they heard one more.

Cesar … Dolores …

You are salt. You are light.

They heard that voice and they bowed their heads no more.

They heard that voice and remembered who they were.

They heard that voice and raised their voices and said

Si se puede

Si se puede

Si se puede

Ustedes son la sal de la tierra

Ustedes son la luz del mundo

My people — You are salt. You are light.

Jesus says so.

Rosa and Martin heard the voices:

“You can’t sit there. You can’t eat here. Stop making trouble and know your place.”

Rosa and Martin heard the voices. And yet they heard one more.

Rosa … Martin

You are salt. You are light.

They heard that voice and they refused to yield their seat or bow their head.

They heard that voice and they remembered who they were.

They heard that voice and raised their voices and sang

We shall overcome.

We shall overcome.

We shall overcome today.

My people — You are salt. You are light.

Jesus says so.

We hear the voices.

We hear them when we are tired … and hungry … and can’t remember the last time we had a good night’s sleep.

We hear them when we didn’t get the job, when we didn’t get the girl, and we really, really want that cigarette.

We hear them when he raises his hand against us, when our child rolls her eyes when we talk, and when our dreams to have children go unrealized for yet another year.
We hear them when there are no friendly faces to sit with at lunch. When the mirror and the scale sneer at us. When a dress size feels like a test score.

We hear the voices when the phone rings in the middle of the night and we hear the tears on the other end of the line and we don’t know what to say or do or even how to feel.

When we feel weak and inadequate and like everyone else in the room is smarter than us.

When the doctor tells us “it’s probably nothing, but we want to run some tests.”

We hear the voices when every day brings three more news stories that leave us trying to choose whether to scream or cry or just pull the covers up over our head and hope it will all go away.

We hear the voices.

The voices that say you are not good enough. You are not strong enough. You can’t possibly make a difference.

The voices that say you deserve the blows. You deserve the ridicule. You can’t possibly handle this so why even try.

And yet there is one more. One more voice, still and small, that whispers in our ear.

You. Beloved.

You – singular. You – plural.

You are salt. You are light.

We hear that voice and remember who we are.

You are the salt of the earth.

You are the light of the world.

You are salt. You are light.

Jesus says so.

Salt sustains life. Salt brings out the flavor of life.
Salt is the stuff of life. Salt makes life worth living.

That is you. That is us.

Jesus says so.

Light is fire.
Fire that burns from a lamp.
Fire that burns inside you.
Fire that burns so that others might see… and know … and come fully alive.

That is you. That is us.

Jesus says so.

And yet the other voices remain. We have heard them for so long. They have become so familiar.

So familiar we can even think they love us as they lie to us.
So familiar that Jesus’ voice scarcely seems believable.
So familiar that Jesus voice seems even strangely terrifying.

Maybe Marianne Williamson was right. Maybe it is our light, not our shadows that most terrify us.

Because what if it is true?

What if we are salt?

What if we are light?

What if we are salt and light not just for ourselves but for the world. For the whole world?

What if the same salt that was Cesar and Dolores is in us?

What if the same light that burned in Rosa and Martin burns in us?

After all, Jesus says so.

What if the world is waiting for us?

What if it all depends on us?

Si se puede
We shall overcome

What if the world is waiting for those words to come from us?

If we lose our saltiness, what will happen to that world?

If our light is hidden, what will happen to that world?

Nothing good.

Jesus says so.

And then we stop.

And we breathe.

And we listen.

And we hear.

We hear Jesus.

And Jesus says:

Beloved.

Blessed.

You plural

You singular

It’s OK.

You are the salt of the earth.

You are light of the world.

Because I am in you.

And together you are me.

And together we will not be moved.

And together we cannot be stopped.

And together the very powers of hell will not prevail against us.

We pause.

And we breathe.

And we listen.

And we hear.

We hear Jesus.

We hear Jesus whisper, “Beloved, you are salt. You are light.”

We hear that voice and we will bow our heads no more.
We hear that voice and we will cower in fear no more.
We hear that voice and we will receive the blows no more.
We hear that voice and we will let our siblings suffer no more

We hear that voice and we will no longer permit the voices
The voices that say you are not good enough. You are not strong enough. You can’t possibly make a difference.

The voices that say you deserve the blows. You deserve the ridicule. You can’t possibly handle this so why even try.

We hear that voice of Jesus and we will no longer let those voices that lie go unchallenged.

We hear that voice of Jesus and we will no longer allow ourselves to be seduced into timidity or silence.

We hear that voice of Jesus and we will no longer allow systems that hate keep us from building God’s community of love.

We hear that voice of Jesus and remember who we are.

We hear that voice of Jesus and raise our voices and say

We are the salt of the earth!
We are the light of the world!

Say it.

We are the salt of the earth!
We are the light of the world!

Say it louder!

We are the salt of the earth!
We are the light of the world!

Shout it to the heavens!

We are the salt of the earth!
We are the light of the world!

Because Christ is in us.
And together we are Christ.

The salt that was in Cesar and Dolores is in us.
The fire that burned in Rosa and Martin burns in us.

And we shall say Si se puede
And we shall sing we shall overcome.
And we shall be God’s beatitudes people
And through us, God will build Christ’s beloved community of love.

And we will not lose our saltiness. And no bushel basket will hide us.

Because, beloved, you are the salt of the earth.
Beloved, you are the light of the world

That is you. That is us.

Jesus says so.
Amen.

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