In Matthew 5:13-16 we have recorded some very clear and unambiguous words from Jesus to His disciples. “You are salt and light”, “You are the light of the world”. Not only are we light and salt but Jesus also remarks, a city on a hill cannot be hidden and the light should not be covered. Verse 16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine in front of others. Then they will see the good you do. And they will praise your Father who is in heaven.” Disciples of Jesus should be known for the influence they have.

One of my concerns about the Church in general is we can either assume we have no right to speak or act in matters other than church. In addition, some allow others to speak and act on their behalf, thinking that’s good enough. Don’t get me wrong. A corporate or combined voice is great and made all the louder by the force of the collective. However, that is no excuse for the individual to not speak and act in their own immediate sphere of influence.  I fear the silence of the Church and individual members is in part the result of fatigue, and belief in the lie that the church, its morals and teachings, are irrelevant beyond its walls and people. This could not be further from the truth.

God’s people are light and salt in world lost in darkness. Yes, the world is broken and until that wonderful and dreadful day of the Lord’s return, will remain broken. But as God’s people we are commissioned to challenge the brokenness in which we live.  We are active agents working on God’s behalf, led and empowered by the presence and indwelling of His Holy Spirit.

Our friend and brother, Eric Maefeona wrote an article for the Solomon Star paper titled Christianity and Culture.  He wrote, “… we are to challenge what is evil and affirm what is good”. Eric then lists many, if not all aspects of community including things such as art, science and politics (and many others). He concludes, “to spread the good news of Jesus Christ which is the most humanising and liberating force in the world, and actively engage in good works of love.” John Stott, in Issues facing Christianity today in a similar fashion wrote, ”The combined witness of history and scripture is that Christian people have had an enormous influence on society. We are not powerless. Things can be different.”

The Church, its faith and indeed its final hope of Christ’s return is not past its use by date. The world needs all the light and salt we can deliver. Lives will be changed. Hope can be restored. Justice and compassion can flow.

The Cross and its impact on sin changes everything. Be encouraged, remain strong and grow in your faith. Allow God’s Spirit to direct and guide you. Above all pray with all sincerity, Your will be done.

Pastor Stewart.