Daily Devotions
 
Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

Your Name is “Salt”

If it’s true that “you are what you eat,” then I am salt. I love salty snacks, especially potato chips. I once was a district manager for Frito Lay, the purveyor of Ruffles, Lays, Fritos, and other salty delights. It was heavenly! Love of salt appears to be in my genes … and my jeans.

There are benefits to including some salt in our diet, such as assuring we get adequate doses of iodine to prevent goiter and hyperthyroidism. Still, restricting our salt intake is wise to do. Joyce, my wife, and a nurse, prevents me from chugging that container of Morton’s in our kitchen cupboard and the damaging effects of high blood pressure. I appreciate her efforts, even if the daily online fitness classes for which she registers us are killing me.

Loving salt as I do, I take heart in Jesus’ words from Matthew 5:13: “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.”

Could Jesus be condoning my late-night Fritos binges? Hardly! Let’s delve deeper.

Having salt in first century Israel was important for flavoring and preserving food. But mining techniques left much, to be desired meaning salt typically was contaminated with dirt or other inedible stuff. Bowls of it were placed on the table. Diners would sift through the dirt, pick out the salt, and put it on their food. Eventually, all that remained in the bowl was the dirt, which was tossed out and trampled into the street. Jesus uses it as a metaphor for the Christian life.

“You are salt!” says Jesus. He says this right after the Beatitudes where he teaches it is those who are poor, mourning, meek, hungry for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and persecuted for righteousness’ sake who are truly blessed, because these are the ways of God. These are the people who flavor the world with the fullness of God’s love given in Jesus, even as salt flavors our food. Wherever you show God’s love – at home, work, or the supermarket; in whatever way you show God’s love – by forgiving, caring, teaching; whenever you love like God, you are salt, says Jesus.

Jesus, however, also offers a warning: don’t lose your saltiness! Don’t weary of believing; of doing good, because then you’d be useless as a bowl of dirt! Yes, life is difficult. With all the evil around us, it can be hard to hold fast to God’s way of doing things. The crucified Jesus shows us he fully understands. The resurrected Jesus shows us whose way wins in the end. His victory over death replenishes our saltiness.

I’d like to think my new salty favorite, Kirkland Signature Himalayan Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut potato chips, helps replenish me physically. Perhaps, but no, says Joyce. In today’s reading, however, Jesus teaches that our spiritual saltiness definitely helps replenish the world. So, he  nicknames us “Salt” because his grace empowers us to flavor the world with God’s love!

Prayer: Loving God, hold us close within your love and protect us from those things that would cause us to be flavorless in making the world palatable for others. By your grace, help us cling to the promise of resurrection and the power of living out the blessings of your ways. Amen

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