Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Salt and Light

Have you ever persistently forgot about one pesky item at the grocery store?  Like for two weeks?  For some reason, I kept forgetting the salt.  Finally, I remembered to pick some up, got on line at Farm Fresh, and realized that my wallet was in the other car.  You'll be happy to know that I took care of the salt yesterday.

Maybe I kept forgetting the salt because I don't purchase it often. Salt is ubiquitous...on top of most tables at home, in the restaurant booth, and in little packets at the bottom of the McDonald's bag. When do we ever think too much about it?  Shake, shake...salt is always sitting on top of my stove.

This morning, I was pouring salt into my special vintage shaker when I thought about how precious salt was in the ancient world. Salt was not only a flavor enhancer in those days, but was also an important preservative.  Back then, salt was a costly and essential commodity.  You can bet your last  garbanzo bean that Ali who ran the pottage stand wasn't throwing a bunch of salt in the bottom of the burlap bag of falafal he gave to every Esau, Moishe, or Aaron.

In the interim between running out of salt and remembering to buy it, my food was a little bland.  I used some bouillon powder, which is salty, but it wasn't quite the same.  I was rationing what I had left and the food suffered from it.
Jesus called us to be salt and light in the Sermon on the Mount as follows:

Matthew 5:13

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltiness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.

Wow, strong words!  In the ancient world, the world that the earthly Jesus walked in, salt served two basic functions. First, salt kept food from spoiling, a basic way of curing meat in a desert area with high temperatures.  In other words, salt kept food pure enough to nourish and sustain.  Secondly, salt added flavor and zest to that nourishment. Salt made food tasty.  Salt keeps food from tasting bland.

So I'm thinking what I always think about as I consider scripture.  So what?  Wait, wait, don't get upset!  I'm saying, "So what...what does this meant to me?

Jesus is telling me, as he always does, that I am precious.  I am to serve in this world as an agent to help keep others pure, to keep them from spoiling in a certain way.  I am also here to help make the lives others zesty, flavorful.  That's a fun task, isn't it?  Don't all we bloggers try to do that, to add a little bit of zest for others to enjoy?  

Don't we serve Jesus' purpose when we create beauty at home, cook tasty meals, take pictures, refinish furniture, keep ourselves interesting for our spouses, dress and groom ourselves to avoid being invisible, grow gardens, play music, sing, or write...make life more flavorful for others?  To me, all those things help bring zip to the lives of those we love.  It's all about joie de vivre.

And if we don't?  If we live dry, cheerless, introverted, drab, measly, joyless, humorless, stuck-in-the-mud Christian lives (can that even BE a Christian life?), well, we are fit only to be trampled underfoot.


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