Verse: Matthew 5:13
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

I’ve been thinking about what it means when people say “salt of the Earth” in regard to other people. Sometimes it seems that they are talking about people in a lower station of life, people who keep things going for society, but not necessarily people of high position. In a kind of condescending way. Am I imagining this? That really rubs me the wrong way, because when I think of the phrase, I’m just thinking of the people who make life good, who it’s a pleasure to be around, who change the atmosphere of a room for the better. The way that Jesus is using the analogy of salt, I think that’s how it should be. That’s how WE should be. If we’re salty, what do we do? What does salt do? It enhances flavor, and it preserves. I’ve never experienced salt that has lost its flavor, but I can imagine how useless it would be. But have you ever been around people who call themselves Christians, who seem flavorless? They seem to have lost the essence of what it means to follow Jesus, and now live to check off boxes of duty, or avoid the list of no-no’s. I want to be really careful here. Being faithful, “a long obedience in the same direction“, is not what I’m talking about. Being faithful in the small things and in the large is what it’s all about. Losing sight of the grace that makes this possible and the grace that we are all in desperate need of is what I think causes the salt(us) to lose its(our) flavor.

In contrast, I’m sure you can all think of someone who adds flavor to the room, in a beautiful way, who makes you feel good, because you are loved and accepted, someone who brings the truth of Jesus in the way that they love the people around them – in the way that they attract others. The way they move towards pain. In their empathy and in their presentation of truth and grace together. Sometimes it seems like those are the special few. We may not all be gifted with charisma or a special magnetism, but I think Jesus has that. And I think that, even if we don’t have it, if we are leaning into our relationship with Jesus, learning more about who he is, asking him to make us more like him, then we will be on our way to that. If salt is the evidence of our being like Jesus, then also the fruits of the spirit as a checklist go hand-in-hand , love, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control. Goodness, faithfulness.
When I feel like I’m losing my flavor, this is the list that I come back to in order to check myself, and I know that I can’t do it on my own. God is giving us his Spirit and a command to be salt in this world.

Jesus, you have everything we need. You are the light, the salt; you are the thing that keeps us. We need you – would you flavor our interactions, and keep us softhearted, keep us gentle in our words. Would you draw people to yourself through us? Amen .