You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither 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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
It doesn’t say “Be the light of the world,” or “Be the salt of the earth.” It doesn’t even say, “Go shine your light.” It says “Let your light shine.” It’s the passive sense of the verb. The point of the verse is not to make your light shine; it’s to get yourself out of hiding to a place where your light (that you already have) can do some good.
The important thing is not shining your light; it’s being who you are where you put yourself. The light is assumed. Your light is already shining. We are the light, just like we are the salt. We are these things by nature of what we believe and who indwells us. Get yourself out from under that place where you are isolated, and get yourself out into the world. Put yourself out where your life can make a difference.
This is why the Christian subculture has been so detrimental to the spread of the gospel. The Christian subculture has been like a big “Christian” bubble under which Christians have been hiding safe from the world. Indeed, one of the main motivating forces behind the rise of the Christian subculture has been to provide a safer alternative world to the world we live in. But what good is that? What good is light all together in one place? Get your light out into the darkness where it can shine where there is no light. What good is salt in a salt shaker? Same deal. Spread yourselves around where you can do some good.
This is why our relationships are so important. The Gospel of Welcome spreads by way of relationships, but it is limited by us. It can’t go anywhere if we don’t go anywhere. It spreads through us to the world by way of relationships. Your light isn’t this little glow on the top of your head; your light is in you, and it is seen and known as you come alongside people and walk and talk with them. Your light is seen as through a natural course of events as people get to know you.
This teaching is critical to the vision and purpose of the Catch Ministry. If we’re going to introduce the Gospel of Welcome to everyone, everywhere, we’re all going to do the introducing. That’s what every Catch is designed to do … to get us out there and in relationship, walking alongside, being salt and light, because that’s what we already are.