Study Guide: Neon Sheep

Sunday November 29, 2020 | Dan Kent

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

This sermon asks what it means for God’s people to be salt and light in practical terms. Dan proposes three practical ways that we can move toward and embrace this call of God upon our lives.

Extended Summary:

In this sermon, Dan explores the practical implications of what it means to be the salt and light of the world. If we do not wrestle with what it means to be the kind of people that God calls us to be, then we will automatically take on a way of being that is handed to us by the world. We will simply go with the flow of the culture. To be a distinctive people who are salt and light requires forethought and intentionality.

The world needs us to be salt and light because the world is not as God designed it to be. In Matthew 9:36, we read Jesus’s description of the world of  people as sheep without a shepherd. The world is wandering through life without the care of God, and God’s people are to live in such a way that they offer that care. We are to be able to proclaim, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalms 34:8) through the way that we move through this world.

How then do we become this kind of salt and light people? Dan offers three ways:

First, we must stay other-oriented. Being salt and light is a way of being for the sake of others. We do not eat a spoonful of salt for the sake of eating salt. We use salt to bring out the flavor in other foods. Light is the same. We see the things that light illumines, not the light in and of itself.

Second, hold strong to both salt and light. Dan proposes that salt is a metaphor for seeing the reality of life, whereas light points to what life should look like. The problem is that we tend to only look at one or the other. We either see the stark realities of the challenges that we face in life or we focus on an idealistic vision. We need both to embrace God’s call upon our lives. We must see the reality of what life is like, while at the same time see the hope of God’s life that points the way toward a new future.

Third, default to salt. We should embrace people right where they are in the realities of their lives. Jesus met people in their situation and then when people began to ask questions about his way of life, he offered light.

When we move in these three practical steps, we are moving toward the call to be salt and light, thus offering care to people who are lost and wandering like sheep without a shepherd.

Reflection Questions: