Andrew Wood's Sermon Notes - July 2011
‘You are the salt of the earth…’
Matthew 5 is not primarily a moral code or guidlelines, it is a reflection on how God is present in the dependent, and those who know their need. The Beautitudes are not really attitudes at all, in the sense of behaviour or states of mind we can aim at, but rather a recognition that God is present in our need. We are blessed not because we are happy but because we are close to God. Matthew 25 complements this with it’s extraordinary statement that God is present in the faces of those who suffer.
The chapter is also a plea for followers of Jesus to understand their calling – they are to be:
1. Salt (which not only gave taste, but preserved) – so we are to help repair the world and its brokenness and live (saltily) as though God’s Kingdom were present – our discipleship is a sign for others about what God’s Kingdom could look like.
2. Light. We have lost the sense of the gift of light in our light polluted world – but in the ancient world light was a precious commodity, often shown off by those who could afford it. So offering light to all is the call of the disciple – in order to point the way to God, and make the riches of his grace available to all.
Andrew Wood 11.07.11