Lenten Devo #19—Salt of the Earth
"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." (Matthew 5:13)
Jesus likens the people of God to salt. First, salt preserves. That means we are meant to preserve what is good, to hold back the tide of corruption and of decay. This would have been particularly relevant for some of the first Christians who were witnessing the decline of the Roman empire. As decadence reigned, they sought to preserve order, provide security, to take care of the poor and needy, the weak and helpless.
Second, salt seasons. That is, it draws out the flavors that naturally occur in whatever it seasons. We are meant then to bring to the surface all the good things of our culture, our place, and even our time. We point to what is good and seek to enhance it.
But of course, if Christians go the way of the culture around them, they lose their ability to season and to preserve. In fact, the ability of Christians to influence a culture has always been their unwillingness to conform to that culture. They were different. So to lose their "saltiness" is to become useless, "no longer good for anything."
Part of our witness to the goodness of God is to be salt in the city, arresting the decay and drawing out the rich flavors. And by these actions, people will look at the source of our differentness, our unwillingness to conform. The will see God through us.
But we must pray that God would remove the blindness from their eyes, and that he would give them a holy disquiet about the world around them. So that they will see the salt for what it is, and praise God who is in heaven.
Who are you praying for today?