Salt and Light- The Community of Partnership
13 “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 underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:13-16~
We’ve heard countless sermons on being salt and light, but in today’s individualistic society, I want to pause and reflect on the YOU of these verses.
We lose a little of the meaning behind the YOU when we read it in English, because, unless we are visiting loved ones from the south, the second-person plural just doesn’t get used. That’s right- this you is a ya’ll- you ALL. And it makes sense when we think about it. Just how much seasoning and preserving can happen when just one salt grain gets placed on a pound of meat? It’s the collective working of salt that makes it powerful. In the same way, Jesus promises that the light spreads to “everyone in the house.” So, it’s the Body of Christ working together to impact the whole world. That’s a lot of fellowship in those verses that doesn’t always get discussed.
I’m guilty of this idea that I can do it all on my own- or even the tempting idea that I should be able to do it all on my own. Then, when I can’t, I get frustrated, anxious, upset. No wonder! I’m not meant to live that way! I am so thankful for the partnerships that God has placed in my life:
Partnering with my family- That may seem like a strange way to say it, but we work together to make sure that we all are taken care of. This includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and siblings. God’s given me a family where we look out for each other and care for each other.
Partnering with World Gospel Mission- I’m part of an organization that believes in meeting a variety of physical needs all over the world, but always with the purpose of revealing the hope we have for the deeper spiritual need within all of us. Not only do we work together, we learn together, growing as close to Christ and as much like Him as we can. We encourage each other, challenge each other, and love each other.
Partnering with SCCLC– My school in Bolivia has its unique set of challenges, and sometimes those get overwhelming, but at the end of the day, I’m privileged to work with other men and women who value education and love people. I have friends from a variety of countries and students from all over the world. We get to invest in students who will go farther and do more than we can even imagine, because we believe that God has a special design for each of them.
Partnering with my Stateside churches and individuals– As you might know, a major motivation for writing every Sunday is to be intentional about staying connected with my ministry partners in the U.S. This kind of partnership looks different with each one of my relationships. It includes supporting financially, praying fervently, spreading the word about ministry needs, connecting other Jesus loves to our ministry, and so much more. Being a missionary and working with Stateside supporters is one of the most challenging (for me) and beautiful aspects of my life. Challenging because I feel like I never do a good enough job telling you how much God is doing through all of us. Beautiful, because every time I am with you, I come away rejuvenated, excited to dig into ministry again, and blessed to be partnering with ya’ll.
Partnering with the Body of Christ- As we join in worship, praise, thanksgiving, and Bible study, people all over the world are doing the same. It’s impossible for us to know how many Jesus lovers there are worldwide, but our lives are joined with theirs in a way that only God fully understands. He designed us as a single community- The Body.
As much as I rejoice in these partnerships, I’m also challenged. In what ways can I allow God to make these partnerships be even saltier, give off even more light? Where is He showing me to let go of trying to do it on my own, so that I can work with others as He intended? I’m still processing, so I don’t have the answers yet, but I’m willing to wrestle with it. Please pray with me about what He might show me. And feel free to ask me about what I’m learning about it! What about you?
With whom do you partner to make this world a better place?
How many of your partnerships are focused on making sure that “better place” involves helping people belong to Christ?
How can we pray for God to help you better understand living, loving, and serving Christ within the community?