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Weekly Sermon Illustration: The Salt of the Earth

February 03, 2014

In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic.

On February 9, 2014 we will celebrate the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany. Here is this week's reading from the gospel of Matthew:

Matthew 5:13-14
"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."

The following is an excerpt from Buechner's sermon "The Church" (originally published in The Clown in the Belfry and later in Secrets in the Dark).

Jesus calls us to show this truth forth, live this truth forth. Be the light of the world, he says. Where there are dark places, be the light especially there. Be the salt of the earth. Bring out the true flavor of what it is to be alive truly. Be truly alive. Be life-givers to others. That is what Jesus tells the disciples to be. That is what Jesus tells his church, tells us, to be and do. Love each other. Heal the sick, he says. Raise the dead. Cleanse lepers. Cast out demons. That is what loving each other means. If the church is doing things like that, then it is being what Jesus told it to be. If it is not doing things like that-no matter how many other good and useful things it may be doing instead-then it is not being what Jesus told it to be. It is as simple as that.


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