First posted MAY 2018:
You are the salt of the earth.
But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again?
It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
Matthew 5:13 NLT
Salt! What a prolific commodity!
In the past salt was valuable and rare. But now it is cheap, always there, on the table, in the cupboard ... available. And so taken for granted -- by me, at least ... UNTIL a few days ago.
All of a sudden, my little known (and barely paid attention to) condition know as hyponatremia (low sodium blood levels) came crashing in with extreme confusion, fatigue, irritability, etc. Circumstances and neglect on my part had created the "perfect storm." It was scary. But surprisingly all was well after ingesting a glass of water containing ... you guessed it, SALT! Humble, vital, but easily forgotten, salt!
So this has gotten me thinking about salt.
Jesus used salt as a metaphor for me and for you as children of God, His disciples. But what is it about salt that prompted Jesus to say to us, "You are the salt of the earth?"
First of all, I notice that Jesus didn't say, "You can be the salt of the earth" or "You should be the salt of the earth." He said, "You are the salt of the earth."
It kinda reminds me of Who Jesus says He is: "I AM the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Good Shepherd, the Resurrection and the Life, the True Vine ... I AM! Not "I might be" or "I can be" or "I should be."
So somehow my identity as a believer is wrapped up with the picture of salt. What about salt?
Salt is a necessity of life and was a mineral that was used since ancient times in many cultures as a seasoning, a preservative, a disinfectant, a component of ceremonial offerings, and as a unit of exchange. In various contexts, it is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty, durability, fidelity, usefulness, value, and purification. (Wikipedia, Salt in the Bible)
Today salt is still used to enhance flavors and, as I found out painfully, to maintain good health by providing biochemical balance. Salt is pretty amazing.
And so is a child of God!
Our just being who we are in Who He Is can change our world ... not because of us, but because of Who lives in us and through us as us.
There are just a few passages in the New Testament concerning salt. This is where I have parked myself, wanting to learn and wanting to see and to savor my saltiness as a follower of my Savior and Lord.
Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in PEACE with each other.
Mark 9:50 NLT
Walk in WISDOM toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your SPEECH always be GRACIOUS, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Colossians 4:5-6 ESV
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:17-18 NLT
Can I tell you about a salty sister in the Lord, my Vietnamese friend Tuyet, who just went home to God recently? At her memorial service, a friend of hers named Lee told about how she had met Tuyet. Lee ran a grocery store in Tuyet's neighborhood. She had delivered a baby just days before, but she had no interest in him. Lee was on the brink of suicide, despairing of life.
Meanwhile, Tuyet had a strange prompting. She had no money and wasn't in the market for anything in particular, but she was impelled to go to Lee's store. Once in that store, Tuyet told Lee about her prompting, to which Lee spilled out her anguish and despair and disinterest in her baby. The long and short of it is that Tuyet then shared the love of God with Lee and came alongside her in the depths of her misery. Lee became thirsty for Tuyet's Jesus because of the salt of the earth resident in one little humble child of God from Vietnam. Lee then started caring for her baby. Tuyet and Lee began reading the Scriptures together day by day, and the little group of two humble believers were joined by another then another then still others as they all continued to read the Scriptures together day by day.
The salt of the earth preserved a life and then caused that life to be thirsty for Life indeed.
Oh Jesus, what an amazing honor to be the salt of the earth. What an identity, what a calling ... just to be Your preserver, your seasoning, your thirst-producer in a desperate, rotting world.
Oh be that in and through me today. In Your glorious, thirst-quenching Name. Amen.