Matthew 5:13-16 English Standard Version 13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Today was the first day of the new school year for three of our boys. I know that we had other options, but we chose to send three of our kids to in-person public school for this uncertain school year. We have had the opportunity to meet most of their teachers either in-person (we met them last year) or online (video conferencing). The teachers did their best to explain new procedures and their own expectations. They each had their own concerns, and we let them know that we were praying for all of them.
There was so much excitement this morning in the house. We were still taking "First Day" pictures and cleaning up breakfast when some of the boys' friends came to the front door, ready to walk the block and a half to their school. My husband and I walked with the kids until we were across the street from the campus. We told all of them to have a great first day and to be good. We turned and walked back to our house. I still had to get our youngest to his new preschool class and get myself to work. All of the children wanted to see their old friends, meet their teachers, and were ready to meet the challenges of the new school year. Everyone may still have had some fear behind their smiles, but it was probably more with the adults than with the kids.
We believe, as the bible says, that we need to be the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world". This, hopefully, includes our children. Jesus tells us not to hide good things. He tells us that how we act and treat others need to be different than those who do not know Christ. How we love our children is important, but how we show God's love to others is even more important. We are constantly talking to our kids about their neighbor friends. They are aware that not all of their friends attend a church. They may not be aware that not all of their friends know who Jesus Christ is. (That can be said about our own adults friends too.) If our friends know that we are Christians, are we any different than them? Do we say or act differently than those who do not know Christ? Does putting "Christian" in our profile actually mean anything?
Having Christ in our lives should mean a world of difference! For our kids, we want them to know that there is Someone that loves them more than even their own parents. We want them to know that even the school bullies are in the image of God, and that Jesus died for them too. A wallet left at a table in a restaurant does not mean its contents are available for the finder, but an opportunity to help the owner. Even though the world seems to be in chaos, we should know that the Lord has not abandoned us.
Being the light in this world does not mean that you must be perfect, but it does mean that you can show others that there is more to life than dishonesty, nastiness, cruelty, and despair. We should be looking towards Jesus, who shines His own light on all of those who love him and obey Him. We should do good because He is good. We must love others because He loves them. Those kids that came to our door this morning have been around us all summer. They have spent hours with our own kids, and with us. They know how we treat them, and they feel safe around our family. May they all, as a group, and as individuals, be the salt and light at their school!