Imagine what it might have been like to be on the side of the mountain that day, listening to Jesus as he declared the truth about the nature of the Kingdom of God. Perhaps you traveled far to be there and hear from the teacher who was suddenly generating excitement in villages throughout the region. Perhaps you were wearied from your journey, not just the journey to that mountain, but the path that life had taken you on. Perhaps you wondered who he might be referring to as he opened his sermon.
As he begins to talk about “the poor in spirit” your interest is immediately piqued. While you think that you can relate to spiritual poverty you simultaneously assume that he must be talking about spiritual giants, not ﬂawed, average people like yourself. He moves on to talk about “those who mourn.” You want to relate, but once again you are overwhelmed by the feeling that he must be referring to people more spiritual than yourself. Back and forth your thinking goes as he delivers the Beatitudes. When he reaches the ﬁnal point you have given up on being one of those people to whom he is referring. As he speaks about “those who are persecuted” you are left to wonder, “Who are these spiritual superheroes?”
Suddenly, as if he had heard your thoughts, he turns and looks you in the eyes. He repeats his point about the persecuted, but this time he says, “Blessed are YOU when people insult YOU, persecute YOU and falsely say all kinds of evil against YOU because of me.” Could it be true? Could He be telling you how meaningful your life is, how valued you are in the sight of God? Your heart begins to race and he seems to ﬂash a proud grin at you as he speaks of your reward in Heaven. You are overwhelmed by the sudden feeling of God’s unconditional love for you. As you are wondering if he could possibly speak anything more loving and afﬁrming to you he declares that, “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.”
How can this be? How can your life move so quickly from seemingly being so worthless to being so esteemed by God? He goes on to question whether or not salt would just be left to sit around and lose its saltiness. He wonders out loud at whether light would be created and then never used, only hidden under a bowl where it is of no use to anyone. Of course not! Salt is made to make things salty. Light is made to give light to all who can see it.
Your life is not something that has lost its value. Your circumstances are not something to which you have to be ashamed. The things that the world would condemn you for are the very things that you can display for all to see. You really are the salt of the earth! You really are the light of the world! YOU! Now you know that you can shine your life before others and glorify your Father in Heaven.