Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany February 9, 2014
Preserving and healing
I remember in the winter watching my father rub a thick layer of salt on the country hams and wrap them in cloth before hanging them in the smokehouse. They would hang there for months before we would take them out to be sliced. The salt soaked into the meat and preserved it. Salt added flavor as well.
We would put salt on bee stings as soon as we were stung. Salt is a diuretic; it pulls the moisture out of the sting and along with it the venom of the bee.
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus used salt as a way to refer to those who followed him? When we have a relationship with Jesus, we are preserved, and we have the command to share with others the saving influence of Christ in our lives.
We should challenge ourselves each day to make sure that the world is a better place because we lived one more day. The smallest acts of kindness, mercy, and love flavor other people’s world. We may never know how much difference we make when we live in such a way that we draw some of the poison out of this fragmented world in which we live.
Do we believe that what one person does doesn’t make any difference? A grain of salt is a tiny thing, yet the cumulative effect of thousands of grains preserves, flavors, and heals.
In the Gospel of Matthew this description follows statements of blessing. Since we as followers of Christ are blessed in so many ways, should we not take seriously how important it is that we should also be a blessing?
You are the salt of the earth . . .
Steve Craver, pastor, Rural Hall Moravian Church, Rural Hall, NC