You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
We may see it as simple seasoning, but salt is actually very valuable. Like today and as in Jesus’ time, salt is used as a purifier, a way of maintaining freshness, a means of cleansing and keeping food edible. It is thus a means of sustaining life. Here in this verse, salt is also a metaphor for maintaining and sustaining our devotion to God.
During this part of the Sermon of the Mount, Jesus is telling his followers that they are the salt of the earth. The words are also often synonymous for describing people who are pure and life giving. Being the salt of the earth refers to being disciples of Christ by giving life to others. Therefore, being called the salt of the earth metaphorically refers to people who remain devoted followers of Christ – who serve as Jesus’ hands and feet in the world. But Jesus is also saying that as followers, we must stay the course and remain faithful.
Staying faithful takes steadfastness. Fortunately Pastor Rachel reminded us that as Methodists, we are methodical (See her sermon from July 5th). So when Jesus also tells us that salt can lose its taste, he is reminding us to watch out! As Methodists, first we stay “salty” through our daily prayer, worship and reading of the Bible. This is the beginning of our discipleship. Most certainly, we stay steadfast or “salty” through our daily deeds directed towards others in Christ’s holy name. So let’s stay “salty” in all that we do!
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
What encourages you to stay steadfast “salty” in your approach to serving God? Which parts of your discipleship do you find the hardest to maintain? Who or what encourages you when you are stuck? Meditate on those people/or disciplines now, as they help you to maintain your devotion to God and give thanks.