Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Christ - I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world

I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world...

Matthew 5:13-16 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 by men.  You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Cave People
by Max Lucado

He came to the world that was His own, but His own people did not accept Him.
John 1:11

“LONG AGO, OR maybe not so long ago, there was a tribe in a dark, cold cavern.

“The cave dwellers would huddle together and cry against the chill. Loud and long they wailed. It was all they did. It was all they knew to do. The sounds in the cave were mournful, but the people didn't know it, for they had never known joy. The spirit in the cave was death, but the people didn't know it, for they had never known life.

“But then, one day, they heard a different voice. ‘I have heard your cries,’ it announced. ‘I have felt your chill and seen your darkness. I have come to help.’

“The cave people grew quiet. They had never heard this voice. Hope sounded strange to their ears. ‘How can we know you have come to help?’

"’Trust me,’ he answered. ‘I have what you need.’

"The cave people peered through the darkness at the figure of the stranger. He was stacking something, then stooping and stacking more.

"’What are you doing?’ one cried, nervous.

“The stranger didn't answer.

"’What are you making?’ one shouted even louder.

“Still no response.

"’Tell us!’ demanded a third.

“The visitor stood and spoke in the direction of the voices. ‘I have what you need.’ With that he turned to the pile at his feet and lit it. Wood ignited, flames erupted, and light filled the cavern.

“The cave people turned away in fear. ‘Put it out!’ they cried. ‘It hurts to see it.’

‘Light always hurts before it helps,’ he answered. ‘Step closer. The pain will soon pass.’

"’Not I,’ declared a voice.

"’Nor I,’ agreed a second.

"’Only a fool would risk exposing his eyes to such light.’

“The stranger stood next to the fire. ‘Would you prefer the darkness? Would you prefer the cold? Don't consult your fears. Take a step of faith.’

“For a long time no one spoke. The people hovered in groups covering their eyes. The fire builder stood next to the fire. ‘It's warm here,’ he invited.

"’He's right,’ one from behind him announced. ‘It's warmer.’ The stranger turned and saw a figure slowly stepping toward the fire. ‘I can open my eyes now,’ she proclaimed. ‘I can see.’

"’Come closer,’ invited the fire builder.

“She did. She stepped into the ring of light. ‘It's so warm!’ She extended her hands and sighed as her chill began to pass.

"’Come, everyone! Feel the warmth,’ she invited.

"’Silence, woman!’ cried one of the cave dwellers. ‘Dare you lead us into your folly? Leave us. Leave us and take your light with you.’

“She turned to the stranger. ‘Why won't they come?’

"’They choose the chill, for though it's cold, it's what they know. They'd rather be cold than change.’

"’And live in the dark?’

"’And live in the dark.’

“The now-warm woman stood silent. Looking first at the dark, then at the man.

"’Will you leave the fire?’ he asked.

"She paused, then answered, ‘I cannot. I cannot bear the cold.’ Then she spoke again. ‘But nor can I bear the thought of my people in darkness.’

"’You don't have to,’ he responded, reaching into the fire and removing a stick. ‘Carry this to your people. Tell them the light is here, and the light is warm. Tell them the light is for all who desire it.’

“And so she took the small flame and stepped into the shadows.”

From A Gentle Thunder
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1995) Max Lucado

If you live in San Diego, then you’ll remember the blackout that happened not that long ago – lights were out all over the city – and didn’t come back on until the early morning hours of the next day.  Many people were in siege mode – prepared to “survive” however long it took to get the power back on.  Others were outside, talking to neighbors, helping people who had no light to see where they were going – get into their homes - or share food cooked over a barbeque grill.  Two different responses to the same crisis.  It doesn’t take much thought to determine where Jesus would have been – I don’t think He’d have been hunkered down inside waiting for the lights to come on!  He would have been out with the people – sharing whatever He had – and that’s how He wants His followers to be.  Are you going to stay in your cave – in the dark – or are you going to take the light He’s given you and share it with the world?  I can tell you which one will be more rewarding – but I think you already know, don’t you?  Be the light in your corner of this dark world!  Sharon

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