Boring: The Good Life (2)

. 2 min read
Christ Church, Mountain Top
Psalm 87
2 Kings 5.1-19
Matthew 5.13-16
Dick Woodward’s conversion
      Brother’s response: “Now you can’t have
any fun!”
      Discipleship is BORING!
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
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)
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).
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,
      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
                  Yet are actually salting the
            Cover the light with a basket
(because prefer darkness)
                  Yet the light is an open,
burning flame … cause bigger fire?
starting a fire
      Destruction: challenge to disciples?
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
Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

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