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Boring: The Good Life (2)

. 2 min read
2014/01/19
Christ Church, Mountain Top
Prayer,
Psalm 87
Children,
2 Kings 5.1-19
Message,
Matthew 5.13-16
Dick Woodward’s conversion
      Brother’s response: “Now you can’t have
any fun!”
      Discipleship is BORING!
Salt
and light – neither are boring
      Complaints by folks who have to go salt-free/low-salt
      The stereotypical cave man: I made fire
      Could boring – at least when it comes to
the gospel – be sin?
Grammatical analysis of the text:
1.   “You” (plural)
      “it takes a village”
      Our shared witness, many gifts
2.   “are” – not “ought to be” or “have”
(Bonhoeffer, 131-132; Bruner, 188)
      A statement of fact, the identity of the
disciple community
“Now
they must be what they really are” (Bonhoeffer, 132)
            No covering with a basket, no losing
our savor

     

3.   “the” (definite article)
      Not standard in Greek syntax … emphatic
      “the very salt”, “the very
light” (Bruner, 187-188)
“Even
by the time Matthew wrote these words the church was not yet sizeable or
quantitatively significant in the roman Empire. 
It could seem near presumption, then … Yet their fulfillment proceeds
apace” (Bruner, 188).
“The
disciples … are the highest good, the supreme value which the earth possesses,
for without them it cannot live” (Bonhoeffer, 129).
Metaphorical analysis:
1.   Salt/light … plainly noticed, generally attractive
… not at all boring
2.   Action: Impossible to stop (see you are,
above)
      Lose its taste (as if that is impossible)
      Cannot be hid (impossible)
3.   Destruction image added to each metaphor
      Salt … thrown out and trampled
      Light … under a bowl and concealed
      Destruction: backfires on the world?
            Throw out the salt (because prefer
sugar)
                  Yet are actually salting the
earth
            Cover the light with a basket
(because prefer darkness)
                  Yet the light is an open,
burning flame … cause bigger fire?
            Me
starting a fire
      Destruction: challenge to disciples?
“Not
challenged to become salty – their
saltiness is a gift of Jesus’ presence – they are challenged to stay salty, that is, they are challenged
to be what they are” (Bruner, 189)
      “Now they must be what they really are”
(Bonhoeffer, 132)
Friday night at the Dome
      Being what we really are … even when we
want to be something else
Resources:
Dietrich
Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Frederick
Dale Bruner, Matthew, A Commentary, Vol
1: The Christbook, Matthew 1-12