Daily Devotional 2-5-20

Made for Radiance 
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

“You are the salt of the earth…Matthew 5:13

The greatest and most obvious quality of salt is that it lends flavor to food. Food without salt is sadly insipid, and even, a sickening thing. That is why most restaurants have saltshakers so that customers can enjoy the level of saltiness they so desire.  As salt is to food, so is Christianity to life. Christianity lends flavor to life. The unfortunate thing is that so often people have connected Christianity with the very opposite, with the notion that Christianity takes the flavor out of life. 

We need to discover the lost radiance and beauty of the Christian faith. In a worrying world, the Christian should be the person who remains serene. In a depressing world, the Christian should be filled with joy in abundance. The follower of Jesus should be an igniter of joy and radiance. 

When I was growing up in the faith, I became so spiritually minded that I did not know how to play. I was always serious. I loved to seclude, pray, study the word of God, and listen to my favorite preachers. These helped me to grow some “spiritual muscles.” They were extremely beneficial to the spiritual formation that prepared me for this vocation. But, on the flip side, I could not hold the balance between practicing those spiritual disciplines and playing. I usually forgot that it was okay to be a good Christian and still have fun. Some of us grew up in Christian traditions and homes where strict Christian disciplines were enforced. We were taught to be quiet during worship; as such, we could not express the joy we felt in our hearts. Something beautiful in us was suppressed. Sometimes, we want sing out, raise our hands as a respond to a song in worship, but we suppress it because we do not want people to see us as weird.

Reading about the life of Jesus reveals how often people would surround and follow Him, including kids. There was something electrifying and inviting about Him. Jesus knew how to relate to everyone on the street. The sinners loved Him; the Pharisees liked talking with Him (often trying to have an occasion to accuse Him). Men and women, elderly and young, the greatest and least, were all fascinated about Him. Jesus was a mover and shaker. He knew how to seclude as well as engage. The early church had such Christian flavor in the surrounding culture.  They were socially and religiously a minority, yet they lived out their saltiness. No wonder the Lord kept adding to their numbers (Acts 2:42-47).

So, let loose the joy, radiance, energy, laughter, beautiful expressions, and warmth that is in you.

PRAYER: May I live out and “infect” others with the radiant beauty of your presence in my life.