英美文化:鹽與光 (Salt and Light)
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: May 18, 2011 – 6:13 am

版主今天整理抽屜時,發現一張去年聖誕節的卡片,那由是公司的基督教社團發給版主的該社團的名稱為『鹽與光 (Salt & Light)許多同事收到祝賀卡片後都在詢問為何要取這種名稱。

其實,鹽 (salt) 與光 (light) 兩個名詞在《聖經》中是有意義的,泛指跟隨耶穌基督的門徒。網友若想瞭解來龍去脈,可參照版主整理的解說:


《馬 太 福 音》第五章 13 節 – 16 節 (Matthew 5:13-16)

13. 你 們 是 世 上 的 鹽 . 鹽 若 失 了 味 、 怎 能 叫 他 再 鹹 呢 . 以 後 無 用 、 不 過 丟 在 外 面 、 被 人 踐 踏 了 。
(NIV) You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

14. 你 們 是 世 上 的 光 . 城 造 在 山 上 、 是 不 能 隱 藏 的 。
(NIV) You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

15. 人 點 燈 、 不 放 在 斗 底 下 、 是 放 在 燈 臺 上 、 就 照 亮 一 家 的 人 。
(NIV) Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

16. 你 們 的 光 也 當 這 樣 照 在 人 前 、 叫 他 們 看 見 你 們 的 好 行 為 、 便 將 榮 耀 歸 給 你 們 在 天 上 的 父 。
(NIV) In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.





Christians are not other worldly. We are not to spend our time thinking of how to escape from the world. Nor are we to be preoccupied with churchly matters. The Church is not the kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is about this world, and about our life and witness in the world. It is about politics, about economics and about culture. It is about our environment, about the destruction of nuclear weapons. It is about peace. How are we to fulfil our responsibility in the society in which we live? Jesus said: You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world.

In the first place, Christians are to be the salt of the earth. When we want to stress a person’s worth we often say that he or she is the salt of the earth. In the ancient world, salt was highly valued. The Greeks called salt divine. Salt performs two important functions. It is the commonest of all preservatives. It keeps things from going bad. For millions of people in the world, salt still has this purpose. In the second place, salt gives taste and flavor to food. Food without salt is insipid.

The Christian’s task is to be the salt of society, preserving, reconciling, adding taste, giving meaning where there is no meaning, giving hope where there is no hope. It is about the quality of life. It is interesting that when the early Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire, the Christian Apologists pleaded for tolerance saying that society continued to exist because of Christians. What they were saying was that Christians upheld the good values in life, they worked for reconciliation and peace, and they prayed for the empire and its well being.

To be the salt of society means that we are deeply concerned with its well being. We preserve cultural values and moral principles and make a contribution to the development of cultural and social life. We add taste and flavor to the common life. Because there are Christians in a city or in a village, its people should be able to praise God for the harmony and fellowship, joy and happiness which Christians bring to the common life.




Christians are also called to be the light of the world. The New English Bible translates: ‘You are the light for all the world’. It means we are to be light in all aspects of the world’s life. It also means we are to be light for all the people of the world. It takes us out of our preoccupation with the welfare of the Christian community alone.

One of the serious problems in the world today is religious communalism, that is, people’s preoccupation with the interests of their own religious or ethnic group. The conflicts between Roman Catholics and Protestants, between Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, between Jews and Muslims, between Muslims and Hindus, between Roman Catholics and Muslims and between Shia and Sunni Muslims are facts of life today. We are called to be the light for the world. Jesus Christ is the real light which enlightens everyone.

The metaphor of light is often used in the Bible. Jews spoke of Jerusalem as light to the Gentiles. But Jerusalem does not produce its own light. It is God who lights the lamp of Israel. Moreover, Jerusalem cannot hide its light. The prophet Isaiah summons Israel thus:

Arise, shine, your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rests upon you …
nations will come to your light
and kings to the brightness of your dawn. (Isaiah 60:1,3)

Speaking of the Messianic age, Isaiah says:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwell in a land of deep darkness,
on them the light has shined. (Isaiah 9:2)

This prophecy was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus said: ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’. (John 8:12) Again he said: ‘While I am in the world, I am the light of the world’.

Jesus Christ is the true light of all the world. He has lighted a light in the life of each one of his followers. Christian disciples are called to rise and shine. St. Paul exhorts the Christians in Philippi ‘to be blameless and innocent in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as light in the world’.

Christians are to be torch bearers in a dark world. One should not try to hide the light which God has lit in our lives. Rather we should shine so that others may see our good deeds and praise God; Shining does not mean self-propaganda, self-publicity, self-glorification, but bearing fruit in our life, bringing life and light to others. It is about our deeds in society — in politics, in culture and in social life.



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