Sermon Wedding 11. September 2021 - Mt 5,13-16 - Salt of the Earth
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11. September 2021 - St. Cyriakus, Weeze
- You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. When the sentence from the opening of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is read today as a wedding gospel, it is inevitable to see the bride and groom as those to whom it is addressed: E., S., you two are the salt of the earth and the light of the world! Even if the bride and groom, when they chose this, probably didn't quite mean it: "You are..." and then immediately for "the world", "the earth".
- People who feel systemically relevant to the whole world are indeed people I would look for in London or New York. Masters of the Univers. Our bride and groom come from the centre of the world. Nevertheless, I don't suspect that this was an unconscious guiding factor in their choice of readings, especially when I look at all three texts they chose. They made it clear here in a Christian church, as they did some time ago in the groom's home country, that spiritual traditions are a valuable treasure for their life together. They don't want to give that up when they start a family together. E. does not want to keep her Christianity to herself. S. does not want to reserve the Hindu for himself. Both belong to their common, the one world.
- You are the light of the world. You cannot put it under the bushel basket or exclude people from the light in the same room. It shines for all. There is so much injustice. The one there gets plenty, the other right next to it gets nothing. The light shines to everyone in the room. That is why for Jesus it is the image of what you can be.
- I do not need to repeat what E. wants to present to you from the spiritual treasure of the Jewish and Christian tradition. We have just heard that in the readings. From the Old Testament in the Bible, the experience that we all came from the Word of God and that His good Word is the basis of the community of man and woman. In addition, everything that Paul summarised as essential for the Christians in Rome 2,000 years ago: this is how Christians should live, this is how they should be recognised, this is the way of life that will make them truly happy.
- I want to pick out just one key word from these readings. Paul mentions hospitality, which is very important for Jews and Christians and for many other cultures. But in this word hospitality there is a great deal that resonates in the tradition of the Bible. On the one hand, the experience that God wants to be a guest of ours, in our world. Faith means welcoming God and thus being blessed by the one who comes to us as a guest. Secondly, this experience leads directly to the fact that hospitality does not only apply to those who invite us back.
- Jesus will speak about this in detail in the Sermon on the Mount. If we only invite those who invite us, then not a very lot will change in us and in our world. Only when we experience how much God gives us when he is our guest, does it change us and the world. Only there, where we invite and give without expecting anything in return, we are richly given. It is not the other rich people but the poor to whom we should show hospitality. This should not be difficult in a city like London if you dare to go beyond the City and your own neighbourhood.
- Therefore, returning to the Gospel you have chosen for today. It contains an important contrast to everything we are doing today. Fortunately. Because today (almost) everything centres on the two of you. That is proper and wonderful. But in the long run it would be fatally exhausting. Life only comes into being where we pass it on.
- You are the salt of the earth. The salt in the soup is indispensable. But if you taste it, the soup is oversalted. The right salt serves to give flavour to everything else. You are the light of the world. But if we saw the light alone, we would be dazzled and blinded. The right light helps us to see everything else. That is what makes salt and light so valuable.
- That, dear E., dear S., is what makes you so valuable. You want something, you do something, you have a wonderful aura on all people around you. But with this Gospel you have also given us a treasure. God is a guest with us. "So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Your lives for the glory of God and the joy of all people. Amen