In Matthew 5:13, 14, Jesus uses two metaphors to describe the function and activity of Christians. In verse 13, Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth.” In verse 14, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.” Both metaphors are action words that denote some function and activity. Salt is essential for seasoning and preserving, while light dispels darkness and illuminates one’s surroundings.
In the spiritual context, I would like to suggest that these two metaphors can provide occasions to exhibit “Faith in Action,” and “Prayer in Action.” The commission of Jesus, Matthew 28:19, 20, is an ongoing call to exhibit faith and prayer in action. It is the Christian’s primary agenda. Our active response to this commission, in view of who we are and what we are, is necessary if we are going to accomplish the mission of Jesus so that “the end will come” (Matthew 24:14, NIV).
In 2013, the Atlantic Union Conference administration, in alliance with the North American Division and the General Conference, coordinated the efforts of five conferences to evangelize Metropolitan New York. The mission within the mission became known as NY13. During the months of April to October and on to December 2013, the good news of Jesus’ life, His death, burial, resurrection, intercession in the heavenly sanctuary, and promise to return to earth, rang out from church pulpits, from tent meetings, small group settings, over airwaves, and on the Internet.
Almost 5,000 persons made decisions for Jesus Christ and were baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It took “faith in action” and “prayer in action” to motivate and inspire those who preached, those who prayed, those who participated, and those who responded through baptism with renewed commitment to Jesus Christ. Now, NY13 and Beyond is the new current emphasis for New York City going forward, and we anticipate many more decisions for Jesus.
Across the Atlantic Union in 2014, other cities and other communities will be targeted for similar “faith and prayer in action” events. My question to you and myself is, “Will you and will I be a part of these initiatives in fulfillment of our calling of being both the salt of the earth and the light of the world?”
As your union prayer ministries director, I want to take this opportunity to invite you to be a part of our Wednesday-morning, union-led prayer initiative from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Call (443) 453-0034, use code: 579007. Let’s connect in prayer for the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit.
Carlyle C. Simmons is the Atlantic Union Conference executive secretary and director of the Health Ministries, Human Relations, and Prayer Ministries departments.