As a child, the Olympics fascinated me. With eyes glued to the TV, I loved hearing NBC’s Olympic fanfare.
But as years passed, I’ve grown weary of the humanistic pride of the “Olympic Spirit” that trumpets these athletes as the world’s great hope for harmony.
They are not the hope of the world. By God’s grace that role is already filled by you. Jesus told you that in this week’s gospel: “You are the salt of the earth….You are the light of the world.” (Mt 5:13,14)
Yes, I know, when I look in the mirror – and especially when God holds the mirror – I see a frail and sin-plagued clay pot with cracks and imperfections beyond counting.
But because Jesus has poured his gospel into you, you are what he says you are. You who bring the light of his hope into a dying believer’s hospice room; you are the light of the world. You whose message of law and gospel proclaimed, often unbeknownst to you, gives a child of God strength to fight off a strong temptation; you are the salt of the earth. You who see the light go on in a prospect’s eyes as the Morning Star dawns in that heart; you are the light of the world!
Such kingdom of God moments of salt and light will never be accompanied by an NBC fanfare. There’s no Olympic medal for skillfully leading people cross country to Calvary. But you have the joy of living out what God’s grace has declared you to be. And an unending fanfare is building as those who “see your good deeds” learn to “praise your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5:16).