So what does it men to be salt and light today?
First, I think we have to be willing to make a difference. That means standing up, being counted, taking risks, and not settling for the lowest common cultural denominator. It means extending ourselves, being other-oriented.
Being salt and light can be simple and direct.
It means being willing to look into the eyes of everyone you meet. So many times we walk past the down and out and it is as though we don’t even acknowledge that they are there. We don’t want to make eye contact. Perhaps that eye contact might suggest to us some kind of connection or responsibility that we don’t want.
It means offering kind words instead of indifference and even silence. I have a friend who has worked in the service industry most of his life. “Jim,” he would say to me, “it is amazing to me how people think they can talk to us. Rude. Brusque. Dismissive. It’s like we are not even human.”
To be salt and light is to be generous with your time, your resources, your compassion as you recognize the image and likeness of God in the welfare mother, the addict, the homeless, the alternative kid.
To be salt and light means that you are unwilling to sink to what has become permissible in our public conversations – particularly on social media. It shouldn’t matter what others are willing to do. It shouldn’t matter what permission anonymity gives us on social media. It shouldn’t matter to what level other are willing to sink. We are people of God. We are salt and light. We should always talk or communicate as though Jesus is in the room or reading our post.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of letting loose the bonds of injustice and letting the oppressed go free. So maybe being salt and light looks like politics that is less about power and control and more about equality, diversity, and the inherent dignity of every human being.
What does being salt and light look like for you?