Jesus is continuing his teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. The first portion of our reading today concludes the Beatitudes we read on Monday. What follows is his teaching about how we are connected to the whole world. Jesus uses the analogies of light and salt: light as a beacon for safety, for guiding others so that they do not fall or meet harm, for protection of the vulnerable; salt as essential for preservation, for making food good, for sustaining life itself. He also likens us to a “city built on a hill that cannot be hid.” The Church of San Lorenzo in Manarola, Italy was built in 1338 at the pinnacle of this town on the coast of the Ligurian Sea and has served not only as a place for worship and community, but also as a watch and defense tower for the people of the area. Take a moment to click on the link accompanying today’s picture; bask in the beauty of this place, and then pray for its people in this time of pandemic. Consider also how Christ Church has been light and salt in our community for almost 200 years, and pray for our continuing ministry in the days, months, and years ahead.
The Holy Gospel Matthew 5:11-16
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
A City on a Hill