Tuesday, February 08, 2011

You are the Salt of the Earth

I found it very ironic that the Gospel on Sunday focused on salt and light considering many in the area have been without light and we've all seen more than our fair share of salt this winter!

Throughout history salt has been used primarily as either a preservative or flavor enhancer.  It is no secret that we love salt and I have a feeling that even in Jesus' day, folks loved salt.  Food critic Jeffrey Steingarten writes in his book The Man Who Ate Everything, salt is essential to good food and good cooking“It sharpens and defines the inherent flavors of foods and magnifies their natural aromas. Salt unites the diverse tastes in a dish, marries the sauce with the meat, and turns the pallid sweetness of vegetables into something complex and savory. Salt also deepens the color of most fruits and vegetables and keeps cauliflower white. Salt controls the ripening of cheese and improves its texture, strengthens the gluten in bread, and can preserve meat and fish, while transforming its texture. Cooked without salt, most dishes taste dull, lifeless, and lacking in complexity.”  That little crystal-like substance you have on your kitchen table does all of that..and more.  And Jesus says, "you are the salt of the earth."


That should really give us pause and make us consider what our role is in life.  Just look at the words Mr. Steingarten uses (highlighted in bold) and ask yourself if we, Christians, are doing these things and more for the world.  Are we sharpening and defining the natural truths present in the world around us so others can see God's reflection in them?  Are we uniting diverse ideas and marrying creative energies to further the will of God?  Are we deepening, strengthening, preserving, and transforming our relationships with others?  Or, have we lost our flavor and as a result has the world around us become dull, lifeless, and lacking?  You and I are the salt of the earth.  We are essential to a good world and a good life!

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