Salt

 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.                                         Matthew 5:13

I am fascinated by chemistry. Had my math strengths been better, it is possible that I might have even majored in chemistry in college. However, I realize that while I have an interest in chemistry, at best I could only be considered a chemistry “spectator”, or maybe admirer. I do not think I had the academic rigor to pursue the hard sciences professionally. Call me a science “groupie”.

At any rate, I am fascinated by the chemical elements and compounds. One of them is salt. Common ordinary table salt. There are many types of salts, but the one we are most familiar with is sodium chloride.

Salt has been valued for centuries, mostly, in the past, for one thing- its preservative qualities. Before refrigeration, people needed to find ways to preserve precious food supplies, such as fish. In the time of Jesus, salting fish was a common way to preserve them. Another was drying the fish, and still another was smoking the fish. All produced the result of allowing the fish to be kept much longer than in its fresh state.

Through the centuries, salt was sought after and wars were even fought to ensure steady supplies of it. Cities grew up around salt mines, and the word “salary” even derives its meaning from salt, since workers often were paid in allocations of salt. It was that important a product.

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus used the analogy of salt. He told his followers that they were to be the salt of the earth. This meant that they were to be the ones to deliver the message of grace and redemption in order to “preserve” the earth. If they failed to be “salty” they would fail in the mission.

In order to live out the full mission of being “salty”, not only are we to preserve the earth with the good news of the gospel, but we also need to display other qualities of salt- making things taste better, and making people thirsty. People will not hear our message of hope if we are not making the world “taste better”- that is, be more of a palatable place to live. If we do not make people thirsty to hear about the hope of the gospel, we will not be effective.

So, consider how you can make the world around you taste a little better. It is only then that we can get a hearing for people to know how grace can be freely given to them.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the creation that you have spoken into existence. Even salt is part of your plan for our benefit, Amen.

 

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