Jesus’ words about being ‘salt and light’ to the world is a challenge to think about discipleship. How do we help young people to be ‘salt and light’? What does God want us to be like and to do as his representatives in the world?
BLIND TASTE TEST
This is a fun icebreaker based around a blind taste test. It will require some preparation (see your taste test items below) and you will need some small disposable bowls and a teaspoon for each volunteer. The food must be kept hidden until the volunteers are blindfolded.
Invite three volunteers to participate in the taste test where they will compete with each other to demonstrate their knowledge of food and tastes from around the world. Blindfold each volunteer and bring the numbered (1-15) food samples out for the taste test.
The first contestant selects a number from 1-15. They are fed a small sample of the chosen number with a teaspoon and asked to guess what it is. Aim to have a five rounds and give the contestants a drink of water between each round, especially if they have just swallowed the curry paste! A point is given for each correct answer. Select 15 ‘tastes’ from the sample list below,
Orange juice, Ice cream, Cold coffee, Tomato ketchup, Vinegar, Cold rice pudding, Toothpaste, Yogurt, Salad dressing, Mustard, Bolognese sauce, Brown sauce, Milk, Mayonnaise, Curry paste, Marmite, Golden syrup, Cottage cheese, Beaten raw egg, Water, Cold baked beans, Branston (sweet) pickle, Cold chicken soup, Soy sauce, Cold tinned custard, or anything else you can think of!
To keep the rest of the group engaged with the icebreaker, use a flipchart to write up the food item chosen by each contestant, and let them hear the groans and laughter.
SALT AND LIGHT NAME GAME
Comment that Jesus used the senses of taste and sight to illustrate the effect his followers should have on the world. Explain the background to the Bible reading i.e. this was part of Jesus teaching known as the Sermon on the Mount. Read Matthew 5: 13-16 in a modern translation of the Bible.
Divide the young people into smaller groups of 4. Ask each group to think of as many characteristics and uses of salt and light as they can. After a few minutes ask each group to feedback their ideas and write these on a flipchart or whiteboard. For example,
Needed to maintain health
Brings out flavour
Prevents infection and heals
Makes you thirsty
Lights the way
Why do you think Jesus compared Christians to ‘salt and light’? In small groups ask the young people to discuss ways in which Christians are to parallel the functions of salt and light highlighted on the whiteboard. After a few minutes allow the groups to feedback their thoughts and any questions they have. Summarise the discussion.
In the first century salt was essential to survival. It kept things from going bad. It was a preservative, it added taste, cleaned wounds and promoted healing. It was also used extensively in metallurgy, particularly in the refining of gold.
So high was its value, Roman soldiers were often paid a salarium, an allowance of salt as their wage. From the word ‘salarium’ we get the English word salary. So when Jesus said, ‘You are the salt of the earth’ he was referring to something vitally important and essential for everyone.
Jesus also said, ‘You are the light of the world.’ Nothing grows, flourishes or survives without light. Just as Jesus is ‘the Light of the World’, with His Spirit in us, we are also lights to our family, friends and community. We should be prepared to bring spiritual light into the dark corners around us by living a life that is pleasing to God.
Jesus makes clear that being ‘salt and light’ is not just the occasional action, but that our whole lifestyle should demonstrates obedience and make us different from others.
- What do you think Jesus meant about salt losing its flavour? How is it possible to become ‘unsalty’? Can you think of ways we sometimes hide our light? (Going along with the crowd, being quiet when we should speak, letting sin dim our light, ignoring the needs of others)
- If we are living as ‘salt and light’, what impact should we be having in our community and church as 1) salt and 2) light?
- What things could we do to have more impact on our community and church as 1) salt and 2) light?
MORE DISCUSSION STARTERS
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