Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Explosions of Hues and Watering Tastebuds

Recently, I have picked up my Message and started to read the gospel again. If you haven't read much of the Message by Eugene Peterson, I'd advise you to check it out. Some of its language is corny at times, but the majority of it is beautiful.

In reading the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talks about being salt and light. Now if you grew up in church or are in ministry you know exactly where to find this section and you could probably quote some of the verses by heart. Not only that but you could probably teach or preach of its significance without much prep time. After reading this section from the Message, it brought new meaning to me. It literally added "salt" and shed "light" on my previous understandings. Let me explain...

"Jesus said, 'Let me tell you why you are here. You're to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. Or another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.'" As I read this the theme of redemption sang out a wonderful anthem to me. I've heard "you need to be salt and light to this world" over and over again. And believe me this is a good thing. But the difference was being salt and light in this world was just understood to be different in our world. To show this world that disciples are different and to shine it bright before others. Again, I believe followers of Jesus are to be counter cultural, but why? Well, to be in the world but not of it; not to be transformed by the world's standards but by the renewing of your mind. Yes, yes, I agree. But what else? Well, if you're going to be salt, you need to get out of the salt shaker; if you're going to be light, don't hide it under a bucket. Again this is true, but I was not satisfied. My heart searched as I meditated on this section of words by Jesus. Finally the whisperings of the Spirit showed me how we are to "bring out" whats already here.

This world that God created is good, otherwise God wouldn't have said it was. God's beauty and magnificence surrounds the planets and universe and even surrounds us in each human creation. Jesus cared about redeeming the value of God's property. He cared about redeeming people (healing physically, emotional, mentally, spiritually), redeeming a culture that prided itself on the fact that they were the chosen race, redeeming justice to earth, redeeming life to abundant life. Jesus calls us all to bring out the amazing colors of the world and paint with our brushes the strokes of redemption. To brighten the mundane grays into sparkling reds and violets. To contrast the browns with green and midnights with sunshines. To add flavor to this life and to other's lives. To make existence more tasteful and enjoyable. And to be generous with our plates, not hoarding all the tastiness to ourselves. Redemption my friends is the gospel of Jesus. Allow your time on earth to bring out the holiness of life and redeem what God says is good.