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 by men.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither 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. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Steve pointed out that both these metaphors say the same thing, namely that we as believers exist in the world to reveal God. He connected it with the Beatitudes ("Blessed are the meek"; "Blessed are the poor in spirit"; etc.), saying that those qualities are how we reveal God in our everyday situations.
I thought this would be a good starting point for this weblog that deals with the church in the world and the culture. Sometimes we make it more complicated than maybe it needs to be. I'm not saying life and ministry aren't complex. But the guiding principles that Jesus left with us are pretty straightforward. God is present in our world. We need to be ready to show people that he is. It's his presence that they need to see through us. And that's true no matter how perplexing or changing our culture is. God is not wringing his hands wondering how he's ever going to get a hearing in our so-called postmodern world. He's already in the midst of it. The question is whether we will do things in dependence on Christ or on our own (John 15:5). I'll let Steve have the final word:
You can either be a small part of God's big plans, or you can be a big part of your own small plans.