I love salt, love it. I put salt on everything. I am the one who is disappointed at McDonald’s when they clean the fry warming area and put fresh fries down and there is not enough salt. I am the one who wants to add salt to salt beef dinner. I salt my eggs, KD, beef…ok that’s enough, you get the picture; I love salt.
However, in an effort to be more health conscious I took the advice of the latest diet book I have read and decided to limit my salt intake and so I bought some Mrs Dash. Mrs Dash calls itself the salt free flavour statement. Now Mrs Dash is good, very flavourful I have to admit. The problem for me is this; it’s not salt. When I am craving and feel like I need salt, something that is not salt just doesn’t cut it, I want the real thing.
Salt has a variety of purposes, it is used to add flavour, it is used to preserve food just to name a couple. It was important even more so in Jesus day I would say as a preservative and was pretty valuable, but it was also used in sacrifice. So when Jesus tells his followers that they are the salt of the earth he is telling them that they have an important role to play in the kingdom of God…they have a mission and if they deny their mission they are like salt that loses its saltiness.
So how does salt lose it’s saltiness? Well the truth is that it doesn’t; salt does not become less salty. However according the New Interpreters Bible commentary, it can become so mixed with impurity, so mixed with other elements that it loses it’s purpose.
Jesus goes on to give another analogy of light saying that the purpose of lighting a candle is to give light so really it would be stupid to light one and then try to hide the light.
So for me, the focus of this passage is less on becoming the salt of the earth, or the light…we already are salt and light simply by the fact that we follow Jesus. In reading this text I think we can remember that Jesus has invited those who follow him into his purpose and that he has given us purpose and we don’t have to try for that purpose, instead the invitation is for us to live out his purpose in our world.
Perhaps this is a good reminder for me this week as I go about my daily tasks…remember that as his child I am called according to his purpose and it is divine. Mrs Dash might be good, but in this instance, salt is better 🙂