You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house: Matthew 5:13-15
What a wonderful time these past few months have been. MU’s 2015 Presidential Tour is well underway. We’ve been traveling across the states and Alaska, connecting with alumni and friends of MU as we’ve introduced Multnomah’s new president, Dr. Craig Williford. Nine stops down and two more to go.
Though it’s been a bit tiresome given the rigorous schedule we’ve been keeping, my heart is full. I’m feeling refreshed after the wonderful opportunities to connect with the amazing men and women represented in our MU family.
During our last stop in Dallas, Texas, I had the privilege of attending church with one of our alums at Stonebriar Community Church. I was so encouraged by Chuck Swindoll’s message from Matthew’s gospel to “shake and shine.” As I sat and listened, I couldn’t help but think of Multnomah’s mission and the great privilege it is to be a part of a ministry whose sole focus is to do just that: to be salt and light in a world so desperately in need.
Multnomah’s mission is to become a globally influential biblical university that dynamically shapes Christian students into ambassadors of Jesus Christ, saturated in Scripture and ready to serve. As we aim to equip men and women through higher education to become biblically competent, academically proficient, spiritually formed, and culturally engaged servant leaders; we desire that they would be shaped to be a transforming force in the church, their community, and the world.
One of our passionate desires as Christians is to make a difference. We desire that our investment would cause others to be transformed for the better through the influence we have. Webster’s dictionary defines influence as “the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command.”
Swindoll shared, “In numerous ways, some of them intangible, influential people sway others’ opinions, prompt decisions, and encourage actions. Parents influence children. Teachers influence students. Mentors influence disciples. Leaders influence those in their organizations. In the same way, we Christians influence those we are around. The question is how? Jesus’ answer, given many centuries ago, is the best. We should shake the salt and shine the light!”
Then he challenged us: “Make people curious by the way you live. It’s not us; it’s Christ at work in us. It’s not that we carry salt and light; Scripture tells us that we are the salt and the light.”
Salt: a wonderful metaphor in a world that is decaying. As salt, we are to serve as preservatives. Salt adds taste to an otherwise tasteless world, and it creates a thirst. May we live vibrant, Christ-centered lives that cause others to become thirsty to know more of him.
Light: a beautiful image for a world that is plunged in darkness. You are the light in a world so desperately in need. You are a living lamp bearing his light. Let your light shine!
As Swindoll closed our time together, he left us with 3 simple don’ts that I thought noteworthy to share:
- Don’t overdo it. What happens when you put too much salt on something? You ruin the meal. Don’t shake too much.
- Don’t hold back. Risk standing alone. You’ll have thoughts that others won’t have, and you’ll have visions that no one else will see. Follow your heart and do what God is calling you to do.
- Don’t worry about the critics. They hated Jesus and the apostles as well. They’ll hate you, but stay engaged and be the salt and be the light!
The world is watching us as we shake and shine. People watch how we react to pressure and trials. They watch how we treat others. They watch how we handle promotions when we’re promoted and how we handle failures when we fail.
Salt that stays in the shaker does no good. A light turned off has no impact. My prayer for us today is that we would continue to shake and shine as we aim to walk in his wisdom and grace as ambassadors of Multnomah and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Shaking and shining for his glory,
Michelle M. Peel-Underwood
Director of Alumni Relations