Sunday, 9 February 2014

Salt of the Earth

Sunday GospelMatthew 5:13-16 

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.
  ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.’

When I was little, the definition of 'spice' was a bottle of malt vinegar, a plastic tub of ground white pepper ,that made a pretty good itching powder, and a dish of salt with a tiny,tiny spoon . Set in the middle of the dining table - that was all we needed to add flavour to all and any meals that we shared. 

When I asked my Nan why a day's supply of salt had to be poured from its cardboard and tin container, stored on the highest shelf in the cupboard,  into the little glass bowl each morning, she explained that salt absorbed whatever was in the 'air' and by the end of the day would be damp and tasteless and,indeed, bad for us

Whatever was left at the end of the day was thrown over her shoulder into the back yard of her house; hopefully blinding the devil and driving off a few slugs from her herb garden as it went.

Woe betide anyone who left the big salt-tub on the draining board to soak up the suds of after-dinner washing up. Salt wasn't even that expensive - but it was valuable. You needed salt to live - so why would you ever waste it? Post-war austerity or Celtic sacramentality? Some things you just don't argue with. 

Despite the health warnings, my Nan is right. We do need salt to live. We need it for our blood and our nervous system - to revive our body and our spirit - and we need it because we don't produce it ourselves and we don't store it in our bodies. Salts need to be renewed every day. And spent every day, in sweat, in tears.

It's a bit like Grace. Grace that renews us every day. Grace that gives life - to life. 

Whilst it's stretching the imagination to see the Holy Spirit as a cardboard tub, we are filled with Grace every day of our lives. And, no good misering it away; it needs to be shared, tasted, added to the world, added to life. 

A gift we cannot make for ourselves; a gift that feeds the body and the spirit. 

Grace costs nothing - but its value is beyond compare. 

And a little can go such a long way.

May we be salt. 



Lynda said...

This message is so simply yet powerfully expressed. Thank you.

Claire Bangasser said...

May we indeed be salt, Word. Thank you.

Gelli Ma said...

Thank you both. And salt-y blessings :)

Keith - Circle Blue said...


"Post-war austerity or Celtic sacramentality? Some thing you just don't argue with"

Loved these lines. No argument here.

Thank you.

Gelli Ma said...

thanks Keith :)