Last June 30, 2022, the Republic of Philippines welcomed its new elected officials. They started their work a day after.
Should Christians be involved in what is happening in our society? Some would say that Christians should not be involved in worldly affairs and just focus on what is happening inside the church. Some would dare say that our Christian faith compels us to be involved in what is happening around us.
In the early 1990s, the Faith and Order Committee of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches wrote these words,
“Christian involvement in the affairs of our society is not only necessary but mandated by our faith. Necessary because as Christians we are both members of the church and member of society. Also mandated because it is our membership in the church, which is the body of Christ, which provides us the reason and meaning for our involvement in society. Christ, who is Lord both of the church and society, has called us to reflect our faith in all the aspects of life in our society for the transformation of its life according to the will of God. We take seriously the command of our Lord to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13-14)”
What should we do then as “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”?
First, as “salt of the earth”, we must bring flavor, healing and preservation.
These 3 main uses of salt are most probably in the mind of Jesus Christ when He commanded us to be like a salt. Because of this, as a flavoring, Christians should bring changes to wherever they are. Putting in salt in whatever you are cooking immediately changes the flavor of your food. This means that the presence of a Christian should be felt wherever they are.
As a healing remedy, salt is usually used to relieve scratchy and sore throats when you gargle it with lukewarm water. This means that as a Christian, our presence should bring relief and healing in any situation that we are in. Christians should be bringers of reconciliation and resolution rather than hate and brokenness.
As a preservative, salt is used in olden times and even now to preserve food. This tells us that Christians are there to preserve what is fundamentally right in the eyes of the Bible. This is a great challenge now as we face a world full of subjectivity and relativity.
Second, as “light of the world”, Christians must draw their light from Jesus Christ.
In John 1:9, Jesus is described by John as “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” In John 8:12, Jesus also said that “I am the Light of the world.” Moreover, Jesus also said that one of His objectives is to give enlightenment. In John 12:46, He said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”
So, it is very clear that as Christians, we should “let our light shine” as Jesus commanded us in Matthew 5:16. Our presence then should bring enlightenment rather than darkness.
As we work together with the new government, let us not forget that we are commanded by Jesus to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Director, Office of Communications
Central Philippine University