Prayer: Help us to be who you want us to be, God. Guide us with your light so we may spread your love and grace to others and be the salt of this world. Amen.
Reading: Matthew 5:13-20 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: This is probably familiar Gospel text to you. Verse 16 is a particular favorite of mine. In fact, I have a plaque with those words in my office.
When I read this lesson today, I saw three key themes, which I think will play out over this next week as we look at Sunday’s scripture readings. The first is this idea of salt. We, as Christians, are the salt of the earth. We have a lot to contribute to the world to spice it up. Even though at times we may think we are flourishing when it comes to our Christian witness, we need to be strong and have faith in God.
We also are the light of the world. In a world where there is much darkness, the good news of Jesus that we can share can brighten the darkest of places. Even if the light is small, it will still be a beacon to those in the shadows of existence.
And, we are grace-filled people. When Jesus talks in this story, he reminds us that he came to fulfill the law. He reminds us that there is both law and gospel. He is the good news. He is the unconditional love that we should exemplify today.
So, this week as we look at our lectionary for Sunday, remember these three words: Salt, Light, and Grace. We’ll be talking about each of these in the coming days as we share these devotions together. –Chad Hershberger
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