Jesus said, “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.
If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Mat. 5:13-16 The Message Translation)
During the reign of Oliver Cromwell, the British government began to run low on silver for coins. Lord Cromwell sent his men on an investigation of the local cathedral to see if they could find any precious metal there. After investigating, they reported: “The only silver we could find is the statues of the saints standing in the corners of the churches.”
To which the radical soldier and statesman of England replied: “Good! We’ll melt down the saints and put them into circulation!”
Not bad theology for a proper, strait-laced Lord Protector of the Isles! In just a few words, Cromwell’s command stated the essence . . . the kernel . . . the practical goal of authentic Christianity. Not rows of silver saints, highly polished, frequently dusted, and crammed into the corners of elegant cathedrals.
Not plaster people cloaked in thin layers of untarnished silver and topped with a metallic halo. But real people. Melted saints circulating through the mainstream of humanity; bringing worth and value down where life transpires in the raw. Without the faint aura of stained glass, the electric modulation of the organ, and the familiar comforts of padded pews and dimmed lights.
Out where bottom-line theology is top-shelf priority. Outside the church building where the rubber meet the road and where real Christians allow Christ to influence the real world.