Since when did the end of paid work mean the end of being salt and light? Posted on July 19, 2018July 19, 2018 by Dave Fenton Please forgive me for being blunt. But I’ve seen it far too often. Paid work comes to an end and people put their discipleship feet up as well. In which case, please let me ask you a simple question. Now you are in your ‘after-work’ days, how are you doing in response to Jesus’ expectation for you to be the ‘salt and light’ this world desperately needs? Because that’s what Jesus told his followers they were to be – ‘salt and light’. And he did not add ‘until you get your P45’. So, on a scale of 1 to 10, how salty are you being in your new era? And how bright is your light shining? Come on, honestly! These next years are a precious gift from God to you. How are you going to invest them – especially in view of what Jesus said to his first followers? One Bible translation expresses his words like this: ‘You are to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. It shines out with hope’. The Message. This is not a suggestion, but a firm and clear expectation. Of course it’s ok to enjoy well-earned relaxation and new experiences after a lifetime of work. But it’s not ok to also lose our flavour or hide our lamp in the process. In fact, with full-time work behind us, there are even more opportunities to flavour the lives of others and hold up a light that shows the way. And so to make a Christian difference in our family, our church and our community. What being ‘salt and light’ looks like Salt: This little white stuff not only adds flavour to food but has great properties of healing and preserving. In the same way, Jesus says, our lives should enrich those around us and makes life better and more wholesome. Light: We take light for granted – it’s always there when we need it. But in Jesus’ day powered by oil lamps rather than electricity they depended on a cluster of lights from houses on a hill to point travellers to where they could find shelter, safety and hospitality. This is what God calls us to be – at every stage of life. It means taking the salt out of the packet and putting the light where it is needed. But how? Here are three simple ways to intentionally be salt and light. 1.By being: In the same way salt imparts seasoning, we are to enrich those around us by the way we live. By ‘being there’ and living Jesus’ way, we can humbly help people to see a better way to live. 2.By speaking: There will be occasions when living right is not enough and words are needed. Ideally in answer to questions provoked by the quality of the life we are trying to lead. At other times, our voice will be one of wisdom, or love, or compassion. 3.By serving: Jesus’ words could not be clearer –being salt and light involves action so that our ‘deeds shine out for all to see, so everyone will praise your heavenly Father’. This offers those of us who are retired and active an inexhaustible set of opportunities. Some will be in our day-to-day lives. Others will mean taking decisive action. This might be through – Your church – from being a Street Pastor to helping at a food bank. From offering debt counselling to assisting with a night shelter during the winter. For lots of ideas see our web page Your Church. Your community – from volunteering in a local charity shop to being a local counsellor. From visiting those who are lonely to buddying with an adult with learning disabilities. For lots of ideas see our web page Your Community. Overseas – from short-term volunteering to raising funds for those in need. From praying for a missionary, to sending out home comforts to enjoy. And more. For lots of ideas see our web page Internationally. Far from it being ‘game over’ when retirement comes, it should be ‘game on’. The opportunities to live as Jesus had in mind are endless – and far too good to miss. Dave Fenton Dave is a retired clergyman spending his after-work time lecturing at Moorlands College, building relationships and sharing his faith at his local golf club, and escaping to a cliff-top caravan in Cornwall where his seven grandchildren enjoy the local surfing beach. Do you have something to say about Salt and Light? Then do please add your comment. We’d love to hear from you. Please share this blog. It’s so easy.