Summary: Sal (Salt) and Lumiere (Light) discuss which of them is more important.
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 10min
Scripture: Matthew 5: 13-20
Actors: 1M, 1F
(Sal and Lumiere are sitting, facing congregation. Sal is holding a salt shaker, Lumiere a flashlight.)
- Hi, Sal, nice to see you in church this morning.
- Hi, Lumiere. Good to see you too. You’re looking brighter than usual this morning.
- And you’re as salty as ever, I must say.
- Ha ha. So. Tell me. anything new?
- Sal, I've been thinking.
- What is it, Lumiere? What illuminating thoughts have cast their beams from your inner fire?
- Don't be sarcastic. Actually, as I came to church this morning, I started thinking about you and me.
- Aw, Lumiere. You really shouldn't have.
- That's not what I mean. To be more accurate, I should say that I've been thinking about God.
- I’m not sure I can help you on that one.
- Oh, I bet you could. I could really use your help on this. No, what I've been chewing over is this - what is our place in this world? Why was I made the way I was and you the way you were? And what use are we to God?
- Good question. So - what did you come up with, O you of great insight?
- Well, as far as I can tell, we've both been put in this universe to be something - to do something.
- So far so good. I'll go along with that.
- And what I keep wondering is why am I so - how can I put this? "omnipresent" - and you are so - well, I don’t know - where do you fit into whole scheme of things?
- What do you mean?
- I mean, let's face it. I'm everywhere. In the sun, in the stars, reflecting off the moon. I'm in light bulbs and candles and fires. Even flashlights. I was there from the very beginning. From the first day of creation. God hit the light switch and there I was.
- And you're fun at parties, too. You know that thing where you put light under someone's chin in the dark and make scary faces? (Lumiere does so.) There. That's it! Now that is some special gift.
- Sal, you're hopeless. The point is, I am truly an indispensable thing.
- Blind people live without you.
- Do you think they want to?
- No. I'm sure they would give anything to have you in their lives. But enough about you, what about me?
- Let's face it, Sal. Or should I say, sodium chloride. You are my good friend, but when it comes right down to it, you're just a square on the alimentary table.
- What are you getting at?
- Sal, I guess I wonder if, in the whole scheme of things, whether I'm, maybe, more important than you.
- Are not.
- I think I am.
- No way. I am.
- Says who?
- Says everybody.
- Just everybody. Can't seem to make do without me. Not like you.
- You're just jealous.
- O yeah?
- Of what? Your bright luminescence?
- Good start. Anything else you can think of?
- You "light up my life." There. Isn't that enough?
- It's not bad.
- What about me? Come on. I gave you the benefit of the first compliment. Your turn.
- Alright. (grudgingly) You make food taste better.
- How would you know? You've never tasted food. You're just light.
- OK - So I've been told, you make food taste better.
- Good. Now carry on. There's more.
- There is?
- Alright. I give up. What else are you good for?
- Thought you'd never ask. I'm good for healing people.
- (looking astonished at Sal.) Let me get this straight. You are good for healing people?
- Yep. I heard once about a soldier who got wounded and there was no doctor around and he rubbed salt into his wound and it healed him. Top that one!
- Do I have to?
- And! And in the navy they used to give sailors a daily ration of me to keep scurvy away. And! And they used to say a sailor who didn't pull his weight on a ship was not 'worth his salt.' How's that for high praise?
- Not bad so far. Anything else to add?
- I can be used to keep food from going bad. Salt fish? Salt pork? Bacon? Come on, admit it. Can't live without me.
- I'll have you know lots of people do live without you.
- They do? But I thought...
- They do. For health reasons. Besides, too much of you can leave a bad taste in the mouth.
- Too much of you is no picnic, either. But a little of me - just a little - the right amount in the right soup, boy, I can just taste myself now!
- What a pleasant thought!
- You must have gotten new batteries. Where is this all going? I thought you were thinking about God.
- I guess that’s what I wasn’t thinking about. I'm sorry, Sal. Sometimes when you think of who you are, and what you can do, you start to think less of others around you.
- Apology accepted. But back to this God thing you started with. It’s interesting to me. You said that you wondered what our place was in the world. What use we were to God?
- That's right. Why don’t we think about it together?
- Alright. Well, for one thing, like we both said, too much of either of us is no good. Too much of me can spoil a good stew. And too much of you can burn, or blind someone.
- You're right. And to be positive, the right amount of you can add savour to food, or preserve something that would otherwise spoil.
- And the right amount of you can help a lost person find their way home in the dark. Or a candle can be used to read by, or pray with. A fire can warm a room, or be used to cook a meal. And what would the earth be without the sun?
- Absolutely. But maybe there's more.
- What do you mean?
- What use are we to God is what I mean. I mean - could we mean something more that what we actually are?
- I don't think I get it yet.
- Maybe God could use us to help people in more ways than just for seasoning people's food and lighting the world around them.
- By helping people look at their own lives. And at the love of God they show - or don't show - in their lives. It’s like in the Bible. Did you know that Jesus actually talked about his followers as being light the light of the world and the salt of the earth?
- We’re in the Bible?
- Not bad, eh? So let’s think this through a bit more. Where do you think you might be in the story? Let’s start with what we already know. You are good at giving, as you said, savour to food. Now how do people do that?
- They throw themselves into pots of stew?
- No. They throw themselves into other people's lives. Each of us, whether we are salt or light or people, have been given a gift from God. You are given the gift of savour and preserving things. Maybe people have those qualities, too.
- Help me on this one, Lumiere.
- Sal, the world is full of wonderful things. Some people see the joy around them, and others don't. The gift God gives some is to help others find the richness and joy in life. I see that happen all the time. Someone is feeling down and another person gives them hope. Or faith. It's a gift. It's not something you can hold in your hand. It's something that comes from your heart. And, like you, once it is in there, it can't even be seen. It's like a seed that's planted. It just grows, spreads, subtly, and you hardly know its there. And as it starts to work, everything changes.
- I'm feeling better about myself already.
- Good. But there's another side to it. The gift has to be used.
- Or else?
- Or else it is of no use. To God. Or to anyone else. If you don't use the gifts of God, gifts like hope and love and faith, you might as well throw them away.
- And the world is the poorer for it, right?
- You got it. It's the same with light. Different, but similar. Why don't you try? I think we’re getting somewhere.
- OK. Here goes. Light - that's you - light is for helping people through the darkness.
- Good. Keep going.
- And if your gift is to be light for someone else - to help others who have lost their way, or are in need of encouragement, or someone to pray for them, or with them - then you need to keep your light burning for them. So they know they are not alone. That's how you share your hope and faith with them.
- That’s it!
- Hold on, there's more. The light you shine should not attract attention to yourself. It's like that flashlight you're holding. It doesn't do anybody any good to look at the burning bulb, or on the person who's holding it. But if you shine the light on the path, and not on yourself, then you can find your way.
- And that's the love of God in you. You don't share it to draw attention to yourself. You share the light of God to help others find their way. And to feel the warmth and the joy that God gives.
- Lumiere, I think we're on to something. I think we've answered your question about what we are in this world for, and how God can use us.
- And there's no need for either of us to think we're better than anyone else, or have more important gifts.
- Only one more question.
- And it is?
- How can we share that with the people out there this morning?
- We'd probably have to preach a very long sermon.
- Not if we're lucky. I think they got it.
(C) Jim Hatherly.
This play is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike license. Some rights are reserved. For the full license visit visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/ca/. A donation of equivalent to $10.00 Cdn. to the United Church of Canada Mission and Service Fund for use of this work is suggested. Please visit www.united-church.ca/msfund