Have salt in yourselves ... Mark 9:50
Jesus said to his disciples, `You are the salt of the earth' (Mt 5:13). But doctors say, `Shake the salt habit'. What can we draw medically and spiritually from this apparent contradiction? Matthew recorded no irrelevant statements of Jesus and we may safely assume that Jesus is saying something important. Knowing that NcC1 is as necessary to the bodily milieu now as it was then, we can believe that he took into account its commonness as well as its absolute necessity. Salt has always been used as a preservative, preventing decay both of the living and of the dead. Yet, it is possible to have too much salt. We are told that seagulls do drink sea water; but not too much, because kidneys fall far behind in their salt clearance when faced with continuous overdosage.
Can we as Christians then take a lesson from our own bodies? If we have an over-abundance of saltness, we must dispense it. Merely to absorb it will damage us and make us fruitless. The Dead Sea is so called because it allows of no life within its waters. Constantly receiving, it never gives out and accumulates salt sufficient to destroy all plant and animal life with which it is in contact. If, on the other hand, we allow our inward preservative -- even Christ himself -- to help to heal the wounds of others, our saltiness will permeate society round us with the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we lose our saltness we become useless (Mt 5:13). If we fail to pass on what we have, we destroy ourselves and others.
`With all your offerings, you shall offer salt' (Lv 2:13).
Dear Lord, please preserve in us your saltiness and savour,
and let us in turn be willing and able to shake some salt
on others, preserving the sweetness of those who know you,
and attracting to you those who do not. It is in your
name and for your sake we pray.
Further reading: Mt 5:13. Lk 14:34-35.