St. Helen’s Daily Lenten Devotional
You are salt for the earth, O people:
salt for the kingdom of God!
Share the flavor of life, O people:
life in the kingdom of God!
(#502, Common Praise; by Mary Haugen
and sung so joyfully by St. Helen’s choir.)
We know that salt is necessary for life and in 1st Century AD over consumption of it was not an issue for heart health, stress or blood pressure. It was scarce and wars were fought over it. It has, through the centuries, been the currency of commerce. It was, in generations past, the primary method of preserving food for the winter, so a matter of life or death. And, used judiciously, it adds or heightens the flavour of many a meal. We take it for granted, most of the time, but Jesus listeners did not. It was precious. At the end of the list of sermon quotes we call the Beatitudes, or blessings, Jesus added, “You are the salt of the earth.”
Now if we suggest that someone is the ‘salt of the earth’ we are singing their praises, for they are ‘good people’, honest and trustworthy. Jesus’ approach was the same. Jesus didn’t say “Do holy or extraordinary things and you will become salt…sometime later, in your life, in your spiritual journey or providing conditions are right, after the pandemic.” He said “You are salt.”
Our Lord affirms his disciples (of every age) saying: You are of great value and it’s by being salt for the earth, the world, the people around you, that you can make a difference. Mix yourself up in the middle of life and be a good and healthy and enjoyable addition to our world…add faith, add laughter, add music, add love. Be disciples, agents of change and bearers of good news. Be salt.