Jesus of Nazareth was a master teacher and a great storyteller. It is easy for us to picture him teaching and preaching to his friends as they sat on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, on hillsides, in deserted places or in the temple precincts in Jerusalem. Jesus incorporated everything around him in his teaching and preaching and he models for us a tremendous artistry of the human condition and of God’s created world. These qualities of Jesus are clearly evident in this week’s Gospel message as we continue our study of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel [5:13-16].

In the ancient biblical world, salt was a precious commodity. It gave flavor and zest to food; it served as an important preservative; salt also made people thirst for something more. Jesus wanted his disciples to give flavor and zest to the world through his teaching; to preserve the truth as he proclaimed it to the world; to make the world thirst for more. Salt was one of the most important necessities of life—”You shall not omit from your grain offerings the salt of the covenant with your God; with all your offerings you shall offer salt” [Lev. 2:13].

In addition to being salt for the earth, Jesus called his followers to be the light of the world. In the memorable sermon on the Galilean hillside, Jesus transfers his light to those who follow him: “You are the light of the world.” Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus calls us to be that same light. Light has the characteristic of dispelling darkness, of warming all it reaches, of exalting forms. All this is done with the greatest speed. Being the light of the world means for Christians, spreading everywhere the light that comes from on high. It means fighting darkness due to evil and sin and often caused by ignorance, prejudice and selfishness.

Join us this week at Sedona United Methodist Church as the Rev. Fred Mast continues a series of messages focused on Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount in a message entitled “Coram Deo”. Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 am featuring meaningful and uplifting music, special times of prayer and passionate life changing messages designed to move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ and others. Immediately following worship, you are encouraged and invited to stay and join us in our Fellowship Hall for the friendliest and best fellowship time anywhere featuring delicious snacks and great coffee and always friendship.

We offer a number of book and bible studies: Tuesday’s at 10:30 am & 2:00 PM we offer topical studies at two locations; Wednesday’s our Men’s Bible Study at 9am; and Thursday’s our Women’s Bible Study at 9:45am. So many great missions, ministries and events happening at Sedona UMC—Visit our website at us on and “Like” us on Facebook. We would love to pray for you!—Prayer requests may be submitted online or by calling us at 928-282-1780. We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona. All are welcome at Sedona UMC—Come and grow with us!