You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavour? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world - like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

In our tour of the Sermon on the Mount in Kairos we got to Salt and Light yesterday. Ben's creative team did a brilliant dramatic/creative reading with pitch darkness and then lots of candles being lit, and then Alex and Giles talked about the passage. Giles did a couple of great science experiments to demonstrate light and salt, although at the point when Giles was burning magnesium something-or-other quite a few of us were a little nervous as we realised that the fire sensors are triggered by smoke and that Giles was producing quite a lot of it! Thankfully we didn't have to evacuate the building.

The thing that struck me new about the passage yesterday was that really salt and light are (amongst other things) pictures of the two ways that we talk about doing and being church: Attractional vs Incarnational. Light by its nature is attractional; people are drawn to places that are brightly lit, moths gather to light. Salt is much more a picture of being incarnational church; getting out, even lost into the mix and flavouring as it goes, making people thirsty. I think we need both. There's no point in having a holy, brightly lit huddle, however good, if there's noone going out and making people thirsty for God and flavouring our world with the values and vision of the Kingdom of God. Equally if everyone is out and there's no light, where are people being drawn to? There needs to be a place where the love and discipleship of Jesus is displayed for all to see.

So sometimes when we talk about whether we should be either incarnational or attractional church and which is the best model for our current contexts and all that stuff, I think now I would say probably both, for each is useful, powerful and necessary for different purposes.

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