Friday, February 10, 2012

We Love and Hate Salt

I enjoy putting salt on my food for flavor.  When it gets icy out, I'm glad I have some salt to put down so it melts the ice and makes a safe environment.  Those are good things.  In a week and a half we will get into the Dead Sea (8 times more salty than the ocean) and I will find out if I have any open cuts.  That won't be as pleasant.  I love salt and sometimes I hate what salt does to me.  Both are real.
   Jesus said some things in the Scripture I read today that enlightened my thinking and imagination about salt:

49 Everyone will be salted with fire.
   50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”  (Mark 9:49-50)

 The context of these statements is that of being disciples of Jesus, not leading others to sin but taking extreme measures to rid ourselves of those things which lead to our sinning. The first statement is a picture of sacrifice as found in the book of Leviticus 2:13 where it says that they were not to leave the salt of the covenant of their God out of their grain offerings.  So salt was used as a purifier, a means of holiness in what we offer to God.  So everyone of us will be "salted with fire", purified by God when we offer ourselves to Him.  Like the salt poured into wounds, it won't be pleasant but it will bring healing and wholeness.  
The last part is what drew my attention.  He said to have salt in ourselves and be at peace.  The "salt in yourselves" part is in the plural.  It seems that Jesus is telling us that the corporate atmosphere of His church will be a place where the process of being made holy, being salted and purified from our sin, will be happening regularly.  But it won't be done in a vacuum but flow from us individually to us as a group.  In other words, rather than causing each other to sin as we did in the past, we are working together to be acceptable offerings to the Lord, salted with fire.  But there must be a proper balance in the seasoning of the salt so that our desire to see that process happening leads to an atmosphere of peace rather than conflict with one another.  The Spirit of unity will be the sign of a balanced approach.

Lord, help me never to lose my saltiness personally and help us as a church to be balanced in having saltiness among ourselves.

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