In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus teaches us about our identity as Christians. We are salt and light. Salt in Jesus’ day was used for flavour and preservation. Perhaps the main point in this imagery is that salt is meant to stop food rotting and so our role as Christians is to be distinctive and by our life and witness to point people Jesus who alone will stop communities deteriorating.
There is a temptation to withdraw from our society and community or forget our distinctiveness and become like the society around us but the image of salt says get involved and make a difference and point people to Jesus. The light imagery also reminds us that we are to be engaged in our communities and show them the true light of the world - Jesus. Light is meant to dispel darkness and so our good works will point people to Jesus. But our good deeds whilst very important need to be combined with speaking about our faith in Jesus. In 1 Peter 3:15 Peter reminds Christians to give an answer to people who want to know why we are different and are “salt and light”. When society becomes increasingly secular or anti-Christian we are tempted to withdraw but these images of salt and light urge us to engage in our community and serve. As a church we are endeavouring to do this through the Women’s DV support group and through teaching SRE in the primary schools and through participating in events such as Festa as well as English as a Second Language which Rob Ryan our warden is teaching. Also our new venture which is the Anglicare Youth Mentoring program is seeking to support teenagers so they can grow in confidence and find stability in life and live productively. As we do different activities and seek to build community life we seek to articulate that the hope of Leichhardt is Jesus. As we think and pray about our master plan for our church property this will have great implications for where we head because we want to see the development of the church property enhance community life in Leichhardt and promote the Gospel. We believe that we can do both together and the imagery of salt and light points us in this direction.
Rev David O’Mara