For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Matthew 5:18 (KJV)
So here’s the real question. What is the true meaning of the law?
Maybe Jesus is thinking of what the prophet Isaiah said in chapter 58. Is not this truly what God intends in the Law, the prophet preaches,
…to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly… Isaiah 58.6-8
Jesus has told those who would follow him what they need to know, taught them the House Rules. Now, they need to know what difference that makes. The challenge now is to do something with what they know...
And our world is filled with opportunity for action, for us to be salt and light today. There are so many who are hungry in our community and around the world. How can we feed them? The number of refugees without physical homes or clothing grows larger every day. How can we advocate for them? There are literally hundreds of youth and young adults in our community alone without a spiritual home because they think we don’t care about them. How can we welcome them?
It does not take much salt or much light to make a difference—a jot here, a tittle there. As my grandmother used to say, a few grains of salt can make your grits edible. One candle lit in a dark room can show you where the furniture is. That is all it takes. A few grains of salt, a few candles.
But don’t get me wrong. This is not easy. Being salt and light means reaching across barriers of race and religion and politics and gender and sexual orientation and theological preference—maybe even ecclesiastical history—it’s hard work—and it might start with the most simple things. In fact, it must start right here. If we can’t live like that as a church, how can we expect to implement the House Rules of the Kingdom of God in the world?
You can check out the rest of the sermon here.