Unfashionable to Evangelize
The text this week is Matthew 5: 13-20. This is a continuation of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. It too, like the text last week gives us a glimpse into what a life of faith and grace looks like. I will focus on the first part of this text-the “salt and light” portion. This has mostly to do with how we are to communicate our faith in the world.
I remember being at lunch in a restaurant and next to our table was a family. The man was a sitting court judge, so I knew who he was. I was not trying to eavesdrop, but I overheard him chastising his son for asking someone what religion they were. “It is not a polite thing to ask”, he told his son. As I thought about it, I thought, “why not?”. I would be fine with someone asking me.
Even less fashionable than asking someone about their faith is telling someone about it who did not ask. This is frowned upon as much by people of faith as by unbelievers, if not more so. It seems “uncool” or rude to “impose” your beliefs on another. This seems a facet of the very bad idea that words are weapons. What should occur to us is the thought that if we do not share our faith, then what’s the point? Remember, we got here as Christians because a lot of someones shared!
A Commonsense Jesus
Jesus certainly is of the opinion that one must share their beliefs since that’s the whole purpose of His ministry. It is axiomatic to Jesus that we are to share, that is, that God does not call His people to silence or hiding. Jesus employs very basic metaphors to illustrate His point. He explains that you cannot hide a city built on a hill-Duh! The Kingdom of God is the city, and it cannot be hidden, why would anyone want it to be?
Jesus then employs an even more basic metaphor. If you are trying to light a room you do not put the lamp under a bushel basket, but rather on a lampstand. This way it will provide light to the whole house. In the same way Jesus says we are to let our light shine before others and give glory to our Father in heaven. That is the point! All that we think, speak and do is to glorify God. Not to earn our way into heaven, our place in heaven is already assured by our faith. Rather, we shine so that others may know the joy of a relationship with God and all that this entails.
In looking at your own life, think of something awesome that you come across. It may be a restaurant, a new product or service, or perhaps an employment opportunity. You share this-excitedly, and joyfully. Why then would we ever consider it “uncool” to not share our relationship with God. This sharing does not have to be obnoxious. It can be shared by simply living out our faith in ways that are meaningful to others. If you think a new restaurant is worth sharing about, then how about eternity? Shining on is just another facet of believing and obeying.
Praise Be to God