“You are the salt of the earth … the light of the world.” Matthew 5
I stepped out of the car the other day to run into the post office to grab my mail when the wind blew my hat off my head and across the parking lot.
That was most disconcerting as my hat and head generally stay connected unless I intend otherwise. Further, as much as the wind blows around these parts, I can’t remember the last time it was able to blow my hat off. I will admit there is less to hold it on these days. Still, I didn’t put it on my head to have some blow-hard knock it off and make me go chase after it!
But, that’s life. We must stay ever vigilant. There are powers at work over which we have no control.
Take Thanksgiving, for instance. By an act of Congress we are called to order on the fourth Thursday of November and commanded to give thanks for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. That causes me to wonder, though: If we are so thankful for all we have, why do so many go out the day after (or the evening of) the Thanksgiving holiday to buy so much more?
If we are truly thankful, does it make sense to trample one another for the sake of being the first into the store, or one of the lucky few to grab hold of the season’s “hottest” new “must-have”?
Every year it is the same thing. We gather, we feast, and then we join the brotherhood and sisterhood of National Berserkers for a month of berserkery.
I mentioned last time that it is my desire this year to make things different. I really want to experience the holiday season this time ‘round the block in a completely holy and wholesome fashion.
The down side, if there is one, is that it may not “feel” like Christmas if one isn’t going bonkers.
What’s the fun, you may ask, in putting up a string of lights and a wreath on the house that doesn’t throw the nation’s electrical grid into an emergency overdrive?
What’s the fun, you may ask, of walking through the house where every other ornament and decoration doesn’t break out into song or season’s greetings?
What’s the fun, you may ask, of bringing out just a few holy treasures to help one focus on the birth of Messiah?
Do we dare live a month without Frosty and Friends? Will Santa really get lost if Rudolph isn’t there to guide his sleigh? Will the world really stop turning if we leave some (or most) of our seasonal junk in those storage tubs out in the garage, shed, or storage room?
The fun, I think, might be found in taking charge of the holiday – and not vice versa. The holiday season will blow through like it always does, and people will become stranger than normal, as they always do this time of year.
But for me, it will be enough to simply keep my head. If I can keep my hat on too, that’ll be oh so sweet. How to take charge, though; there’s the rub.
In his great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says we are the salt of the earth. Salt was quite valuable in Jesus’ day. People were often paid in salt. The word salary comes from the word salt. Jesus seems to be saying that it is we (human beings) who are of great value. It isn’t our money or possessions, but we ourselves.
Maybe if we spent more time spicing up our community with peace, joy, and goodwill towards all – being salt – and less time being combative or assaultive, the world would be a bit more pleasant for our being here. Maybe if we spent more time twinkling in life, and less time putting twinkling lights on our homes, the world would be a bit brighter for our being here.