Salt and Light
13 “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 underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-14
Bonny nearly always ends our time together praying that we will be women after God’s own heart and that we will be Salt and Light to the world.
I have a prayer partner. It is one of the most rewarding and encouraging relationships I have had over the past ten years. We have only seen each other face-to-face once over this past decade. You see, she lived in South Dakota when we “met”, and we lived in Columbia, Missouri. She and her husband were driving to Tennessee for conference and chose to drive through Columbia so we could meet and have dinner together. It was a sweet, sweet time – but really, our weekly prayer times are the sweetest!
Bonny and I became acquainted through The Caring People, after she was trained to begin a ministry at her home church in South Dakota. I was her mentor through the process, and we decided early on that we needed to be in prayer together weekly. That started in 2012, and even though our lives have each left the ministry of The Caring People behind, I believe we will be prayer partners until the Lord takes one of us home.
Ours is a remarkable relationship, forged from the beginning out of our desires to do the will of God in our lives, in our service to Single Moms, and in all that we are. Our primary vehicle became weekly prayer. As our friendship grew, so did the scope of our prayers. We began to include our families, our churches, our own faith journey and needs. We have been with each other through marriages of our children, retirement, birth of grandchildren, my marriage to Scott, difficult relationships in our lives, loss of jobs and careers, aging parents, deaths of parents, moving far from our families and loved ones and finally COVID.
I have valued and treasured Bonny’s unwavering faith and commitment to bringing the light and love of Christ to the unsaved. I have valued her knowledge of and use of Scripture in her prayers and conversation. I have grown so much knowing this humble, beautiful servant of God. My prayer life is certainly enriched and strengthen weekly! If we cannot talk, we text each other our prayer needs. We are forever Sisters in Christ. She is a snapshot in my life that keeps on giving!
Bonny nearly always ends our time together praying that we will be women after God’s own heart and that we will be Salt and Light to the world. One day, after we had prayed, during my quiet time, I thought about that those words Salt and Light. Light is a concept of Christ that I use often in my own writing and prayers and conversations. I think it is one of the descriptions of Christ in John’s Gospel that I cherish the most! This day, however, questions came to mind: “What does that really mean? Am I a light in this dark world? Why is it such a compelling characteristic of Christ?”
I decided to do some background research and digging on the word Light in its Biblical context. There is enough written for a years’ worth of blogs!! I found what I read both stimulating and encouraging and want to share just a bit of what I learned.
God is Good therefore God is Light
The word light in Scripture is often used as the opposite of darkness – or the antithesis to evil. Light dispels darkness, just as goodness dispels evil. If this is true, then it is a natural step for biblical authors to understand God, the ultimate good, as light. Light symbolizes the holy God. Light signifies God’s presence and favor. David writes of this in Psalm 27:1 and Isaiah describes this presence in Isaiah 9:2.
Light is an illumination or an agent that makes things visible. It is as common as a light bulb turned on by a switch and the sun rising in the morning. Psalm 119:105 refers to God’s Word as a “…lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” It is a light that directs our paths as we walk through this life, just as a flashlight can make a path clear in the darkness of a trail through the forest.
Light Dispels Darkness
God is present in His Word – it is the Living Word revealing a God who loves us, even sending His Son to be a constant Light in our dark world. One source said it this way: “Speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus alluded to his divinity by declaring, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have a life filled with light and will never live in the dark.” (John 8:12) God was a tangible presence of light to His people in the wilderness in the pillar of fire at night and in the lamp of the temple.
The Light of Christ resides in our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit – a sign of our salvation. We no longer walk in the darkness of sin.
1 John 1:5 tells us that God is light and in Him there is no darkness. In Heaven, there is no need for light, for God’s light will illuminate all of Heaven! Glory Hallelujah!
Are we walking as people of the LIGHT in this dark world? Oh, I want to shine in the darkness, Lord!
Light Dispels Chaos
While of some of these thoughts are familiar to us when we consider Light in its Biblical interpretation, this next was new to me. In an article from BibleTools.org, I learned that the word “light: appears more than 230 times in the Bible. It is first seen in Genesis 1:3: “And God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light'” In Hebrew, however, the word for light, ohr, means something more. Ohr also means, giving order to something chaotic.
When God declared, “let there be light,” He did not only mean illumination, but He also meant to bring order to the already chaotic earth. God is a God of order. I find it rather amazing that in one command, “let there be Light”, He not only brought light, as we know it, but order.
Isn’t that just like Jesus, as well? John 8:12 says, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” As the light of my life, I know that He not only has brought truth, and grace, and peace, and light in the darkness – but He has redeemed me from the chaos of the pit and sin, as well. Have you experienced the same?
As Light, Jesus is not content to be that Himself, but He challenges His followers to do the same. As our opening Scripture reads, we are to be the light of the word – a light not to be hidden. As Christ has changed our hearts, dispelling the darkness of sin, we are to be a light that draws others to Him so that they can experience that change and transformation as well. And in doing so, we are not only the light of love and salvation, but we set things in order for those who live chaotic lives.
Light is Truth
As we have read, Light in the Bible goes well beyond the physical element of illumination. It has at its core the spiritual element of truth. It encompasses all that is pure, good, and holy, as opposed to the darkness of evil. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. “Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)” Eph 5:8-9 NIV. I love that! God the source of Light is also the source of Truth. Jesus told us He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let’s live like we believe this!
So, my friend, Bonny. May you continue to end our prayer time with the words let us be Salt and Light! And may God, in His goodness, shine through us – and through you all- as we share this Light of the World to those who are living in darkness all around us.
As we close, let our beloved “Light of the World” take you to a place of praise and worship!
I would love to know your insights into the word Light! Please share with all of us in the comment section.
Next week we will explore what it means to be Salt.