“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matt. 5:13-16
Dear heavenly Father, understandably, emotions and conversations we’re all over the map yesterday, in response to the presidential election. Many of us were hoping for significant changes a new president might bring; others for an opportunity to give our sitting president a chance to make good on his original promises; others of us were completely ambivalent about this election—feeling conflicted about not having a candidate, from either party, we could really get excited about.
Once again, providence drives us to you and to your Word—for perspective, peace and hope. How we praise you, Father, that with you, there’s an abundance of each. Please help us make our racing thoughts captive to Jesus’ wisdom; help us bring our piqued emotions to Jesus’ mercy; and help us surrender our next choices to Jesus’ kingdom.
Father, this one portion of the Scriptures offers us a timely perspective on these very matters. Our calling, as your people, is to be salt and light, wherever you place us. Salt fends off decay, has medicinal properties and adds flavor. Light, even a little light, dispels darkness and offers hope. Through the power of the gospel and the beauty of grace, may we live this way in our communities and culture.
We know that in this world, we have no “lasting city,” and with renewed zeal, we long for the arrival of the City of God—the perfect world we will enjoy forever, when Jesus returns to finish making all things new. But until then, as your people—as your church, may the gospel “light us up” with humility, servanthood and hope; and may we offer our cities a small, but substantive, glimpse of the City that is surely coming.
Free us from our cynicism, for that is never appropriate for a people in Christ; from our ingrown-ness, for you have sent us into the world with your welcome and grace; from our naiveté, for spiritual warfare is often quite intense; and from our unbelief, for you have promised to bring to completion the work you have begun. In the coming days, may our good deeds be much more obvious to our neighbors than our faithless words. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ mighty and merciful name.