Lenten Devotional // Day 14

Thursday, March 17
SALT & LIGHT by Madi Denton

Matthew 5:13-16
“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet.You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.”

As someone in their mid-twenties, I was raised during the origination of meme culture. As a generation caught between Millennials and Generation Z, we grew to speak through images and slang terminology. In many ways, we created a language that is all our own, making all kinds of generational inside jokes. Now, if I’m not careful, I often find myself translating conversations or things I’m reading from their original format into the meme language I carry in my head.

As I sat with this passage in Matthew, I found myself doing just that - meme-ifying, if you will, what Jesus was saying. The initial thought made me laugh in its absurdity. But, then I considered how perfect that analogy might be. That to translate what Jesus was instructing here into a modern understanding is how we make it accessible and relatable to more people, funny as it might sound.

So, I’m going to take two key sentences from our scripture today and reword them in the hopes of presenting them to us in a new, catchy, and generally silly way.

“You are the salt of the earth.” 

Or, as my brain translated it, “Stay salty.”

Typically the term ‘salty’ is used to describe someone who is agitated, frustrated or upset. While there’s a few ways to interpret its use here, I see it as a reminder to stay open. To not close ourselves off, or to grow jaded by the world around us.

Once those walls go up around our empathy and emotional connection, it can be difficult to break them down. Once we lose our saltiness, it can be hard to gain it back.

So, remember that you’re called to remain salty. Stay open and empathetic to the spaces you enter. That sense of awareness will help you determine where you might need to shed a little love and light.

“You are the light of the world.”
Otherwise known as, “Stay lit.”

This phrase has evolved a bit, and now is typically used as an exclamation of excitement or excellence. It’s a joyful descriptor.
Jesus reminds us that this good news he offers is a light we carry within us. The transformation we experience through Jesus, the joy he brings to our lives, those are exciting and hopeful things meant to be shared with others. They’re not meant to be hidden, but celebrated.
When we allow our lives to shine, we create moments for others to encounter Jesus as well. This is one way we can praise God for all They have done for us.
So, as you go forth into your everyday spaces, hold this silly, meme-ified reminder in your heart.

Stay salty, and stay lit, my friends.

Questions for Contemplation
  1. What subjects or issues are you passionate about? How might God want to partner with you in exploring that passion further? Have you closed off to that idea?
  2. What is one thing God has done in your life in the last 3 months that you find celebratory? How might you share that good news with someone else? 

God, thank you for the new language you give us to connect with your message. Help us to stay salty, remaining open and empathetic to how you might partner with us in our daily lives. Fill us with the joy of your good news, and remind us that this light we carry is meant to be shared. Amen.

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