You are Salt!

You are Salt!


For more than 12 years, Ron Brown has had the privilege of being the Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Southington, Connecticut where he delights in walking the journey of faith with a delightful band of salty saints.

Scripture: Matthew 5:13-20 (NRSV)

‘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.

‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Reflection: You are Salt!


I have this ridiculous tradition on the Sundays between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday.  At the end of worship, I use a traditional benediction for the season:

You are the light of the world.
So let your light shine before others
so that they may see the good things you do
and give glory to God.

But as a native of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, I put a southern twist on that benediction — a bit of the southern dialect — but it really is faithful to the original Greek language used by the writers of the New Testament.

The Greek language doesn’t need a pronoun before a conjugated verb like English often does.  In Greek I could say “Be light of the world” and you would know that you are to be the light of the world because of the way the verb, “to be,” is conjugated.  The pronoun is understood.  But here, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uses the pronoun anyway to emphasize “you.”  It's not just “You are the salt of the earth — you are the light of the world.”  It's “You, you are the salt of the earth!  You, you are the light of the world!”

It’s like down in North Carolina when we use the word, y’all.  But do you know the plural of y’all?  I have to give this grammar lesson to my beloved congregation here in Southington, Connecticut every Epiphany.  The plural of y’all is…

All y’all!

“All y’all are the salt of the earth!  All y’all are the light of the world!” 

Notice that Jesus doesn't say that all y’all ought to be salt or suggest that all y’all be light-like.  No.  He says that all y’all are salt, are light.  Period.  Or better, exclamation mark.

And all means all y’all, no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, as many of us say every Sunday morning.

And that Jesus says all y’all are salt and light is even more significant when you consider they were not so easy to come by in Jesus’ time.  Today we take both for granted.  When I have dinner there is always a saltshaker on the table, and when I walk into a room, I flip a switch and instantly there is light. In Jesus’ day salt was so valuable it was sometimes used as currency.  The word “salary” comes from the Roman practice of paying soldiers with salt.  Light, prior to Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb in 1879, was a much more precious commodity.

Jesus says you are that: ordinary on the one hand, but oh so rare and valuable.  Because here’s the thing about salt and light — they do not draw attention to themselves; they bring out what is best in other things.  Being the salt of the earth means giving the world flavor, preserving what is good and right.  Being the light of the world doesn’t draw attention to you, but illumines what is good, and right, and beautiful in the people around you. 

All y’all are salt — all y’all are light.  So go out there and season something.  Go out there and help someone see.


All y’all are the light of the world.  So let your light shine before others so that they may see the good things you do and give glory to God.  Amen.

New Prayer Requests:

We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane at

Prayers of Intercession:

  • For the people of Ukraine whose lives continue to be shattered by war.
  • For those grieving or suffering due to the ~2,800 gun violence deaths that happened in the US since the start of the new year,  including the 39 mass shootings that happened the first three weeks of January.
  • For those severely impacted this month by the the tornadoes causing destruction in Alabama and Georgia.
  • For January's month of prayer recipients. 

Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:

This Week in History:

January 30, 1948 (75 years ago): Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, is assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu extremist. [History

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

Ron Brown

Ron Brown is the Senior Pastor at the First Congregational Church in Southington, Connecticut

January 30, 2023
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