Post from Tom G.
Growing up in the South we have always talked about people being “salt of the earth.” Many times this was closely followed by, “he/she would give you the shirt off of their back.” That typically meant that someone was very down-to-earth and was also very giving. I never really thought much about it until I started attending church regularly in learning more about Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. And as Pastor Dave so eloquently put it in his sermon this morning it only takes a little bit of salt to affect the taste of a dish. But does that also mean that too much salt can also affect the flavor of that same dish? We’ve seen over and over that many times Christians can be somewhat overbearing. Their messages too “in your face” are completely off the mark. And us being “the light of the world” as Christians also has interesting connotations. We can be a light shining in the Darkness, but that light is a reflection of our inner character. We can shine with goodness on people, but we can also shine negativity and hatred on people. For us to be Jesus in this world, we must be like Him. And how do we do that? We must read scripture regularly, attend church regularly and be around other people of Faith regularly. We must also go out and “be the Jesus people see.” Regular Sunday worship helps me remain centered and recharges me. But as I go into the world do people see me as “salt of the earth” or “light in the darkness?” Or am I just another “so-called Christian,” frailties and prejudices in full view and at full volume? My life of faith with you all at LCR challenges me and makes me reevaluate. My affliction is comforted and my comfort is afflicted. That’s what my Journey of Faith has been… so far.
I thought Pastor Dave mentioning Dr. Tom Long’s analogy of the church being Heaven’s colony on Earth was cool. I’m a huge Star Trek fan. Since our earthly colonial period is long past, I see the colonization of space as a next step. As we push outward into the solar system with our meager steps, we carry our emotional baggage and human frailties with us. In fact I was just watching the episode called “Bread and Circuses” a few moments ago. (Not a cooincidence IMHO). For those who are not familiar with Star Trek or that particular episode, it is about the crew of the USS Enterprise discovering a planet that is actually going through the Roman Empire in what would have been modern times… the mid-1960s. Gladitorial contests on television just like when they were watching the ball game, all in Living Color. Slavery, Caesar, Roman legions. Jupiter, Mars, Venus and all the Roman gods as automobile names. Toward the end of the episode they were remarking about how everything appeared to have been similar to Earth’s ancient Rome except for the sun worshippers. They couldn’t understand how that had evolved. Until they realized that it was not the sun up in the sky that these people were worshipping but the Son of God. Jesus making his first appearance to that world in what would have been the 1960s. Imagine what our world would look like if the Roman Empire were now as opposed to 2,000 years ago. And Jesus appearing on the Earth as a baby in a “manger.” Would it be at Northside Hospital or in a shack behind a hotel? Would CNN or Fox News be able to cover His arrival? Food for thought… But unfortunately likely we wouldn’t see that, but with the world-changing scope of Jesus’s life we would very likely see his crucifixion on television. Sort of boggles the mind doesn’t it? Imagine each of us being “salt of the earth” or “the light of the world” and Jesus coming back today. There is a great deal to consider. Do we add flavor? Do we Arise & Shine to reflect the glory of the Lord? As I grow in my own faith I hope I reflect Jesus’s goodness. I hope I’m a reflection of Him more often than not. And I also hope that God is not only patient but has a sense of humor. I’m going to need that, too.