The Pilgrim God: Reflections on the Story of Jesus

28. Salt Of The Earth (Matthew 5:13-16)

Jesus was continuing to prepare his apostles for their mission to convert the world. They were good-hearted enough but they were also very scared. The world was so big and they were so few! They had no great gifts. It seemed to them that the world would be simply too much for them. It was big and complex and smart and powerful and they were few and simple and dumb and powerless.

Jesus tried to encourage them by telling them:

You are my salt on this earth. A piece of salt is not very big but you know its effect. Used prudently it can keep even the largest piece of meat from spoiling And even the smallest bit can add savor and excitement to a boring food.

Well, that is what you are for the world. If you are filled with me, you will bring salvation and savor to this tired old earth. Salt is a very simple mineral. In itself it seems almost inert. It certainly is not pretty. It has no special attractiveness beyond the wondrous power that comes from within. Without salt the human body would soon die. Without the savor of salt this tired world would quickly lose its flavor.

The disciples were still perplexed. salt they knew. They still did not know how they should act to be God's salt in the world. They asked:

That's all well and good, master, but how do we go about salting the earth? We have nothing special to give that can change the sorry world in which so many live out their lives.

Jesus answered:

You can give a piece of your love. And that indeed is a powerful force. You need not worry about trying to change the whole world. All you need do is to try to change that little piece of the world that you face day after day. You do that by giving to the people you meet a piece of yourself, a piece of your love. That is the magic formula that will bring me into this world. Remember, where two or three are gathered in love, there I AM in the midst of them.

In giving and receiving love you will change the world and find happiness even in this world. As my prophet Isaiah said so long ago:

If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted, then light shall rise for you in the darkness and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

Isaiah 58:7-10

You are indeed my salt on the earth and my light in the world if only each day you give a piece of your love to those around you.

The disciples cried happily: "Why that sounds EASY!" and for the first time they began to look forward to the task that Jesus had given them.

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