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Salt of the Earth

Have you ever thought about how much a pinch of salt is worth? Not much in this day and age; we might nearly say it’s worthless. But salt is an age-old commodity. It has been used to preserve food for starving troops and the bodies of Pharaohs. It has been used to flavour meals in the highest courts and on the simplest of tables. Wars have been fought over salt, and people were even paid wages in the form of salt.

So, when Jesus says in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?” Jesus is calling us not to be some small, worthless thing but calling us, in our small but valued way, to add worth to the communities in which we live and work and have our being. Jesus is calling us, his followers, to add His flavour to the world. This is an important command for Jesus, for we are to be His flavour.

But what is the flavour we are called to be? Again, part of the answer comes to us from the passages just prior to this in chapter 5 of Matthew’s gospel in the Beatitudes. In the Beatitudes, we hear that the people that Christ calls us to bless are those poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger for justice, the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers. This is part of the flavour packet with which we should be salting our communities. We need to be those who are supporting the weak, comforting those who mourn, standing up for those who have no voice, and offering forgiveness.

How are you flavouring your community? Just like each of those grains of salt plays a part in the flavouring of our food, so each of us is a valued member called to be Christ’s flavour in the world.

God Bless, Andrew. 

Andrew Gunton is the Moderator, Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod. 

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