Signposts: Daily Devotions

Tuesday, September 23

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.”
—Matthew 5: 13-14

Salt and light…the two do not seem to have much in common. But they do: both function in the world, the physical world. Salt seasons our food, gives zest and flavor to it. Light, for all of its meanings, ultimately pushes darkness back. Both have vital functions in the world.

Who, or what, is your salt? Who gives light to your world?

As I ask myself those questions, two different people come to mind. One is woman who lived to be one hundred and one years old. I remember preaching at her funeral. She was called Lady Bird, a name her baby brother gave her, and she spiced up my life and the lives of countless others. She was full of stories, always interested in me, constantly deflecting attention from herself. I always left her with new insight, a new slant on life, and a new zest for living.

When I think of light, the person who comes to mind was a man I worked for who drove me crazy. “Lights up!” he challenged me, and all the other staff members. “This parish church should be a beacon, a sign of Christ’s love.” As I thought about Jesus’ vision, I remembered that priest with great respect. His vision and commitment led me, and many others, to dare to do things we never dreamed we could do, and the results were amazing.

As I reflect on Jesus’ statement, I realize that often it is others who bring the gospel to life. These two, a dear and saintly woman and an annoying and inspiring priest, brought the gospel to life for me, and I am thankful.

Help us, O Lord, to remember, through the example of Jesus Christ, that what we keep we lose, and only what we give remains our own. Amen.

The Signposts for September are written by Margaret Jones and originally appeared on explorefaith in 2005.