Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Salty


Salty

 

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” – Matthew 5:13
Of all the flavors of good stuff in this world, my favorite is salt.  I’m not much on chocolate, cake, ice cream, cookies, or any of that stuff.  But give me a little bowl of kosher salt, and I’m like a cow finding a salt lick in a field! I’ll sit there and enjoy it for hours!  Yes, I know it’s not good for me.  My doctor tells me every time I see him.  But salt….mmm!

Salt is a remarkable thing.  It’s a mineral, created when the earth was created.  It can be found not only in sea water, but in layers under the surface of the earth.  It has even been found in meteors that have fallen to earth, and on Mars. 
Salt is mined in one of three ways.  Shaft mining, much like mining coal, creates caverns through the earth to the salt, and then it is picked and placed in carts that haul it out.  This is how rock salt is mined. 

Solution mining uses wells erected over salt beds (deposits of salt forced up out of the earth by tectonic pressure) and water is injected to dissolve the salt. Then the salt solution, or brine, is pumped out and taken to a plant for evaporation. When the solution evaporates, the salt is left behind. It is then dried and an anti-caking agent is added to keep it free flowing. Most table salt is produced this way. 
Salt is also harvested through solar evaporation from seawater or salt lakes. Wind and the sun evaporate the water from shallow pools, leaving the salt behind. It is usually harvested once a year when the salt reaches a specific thickness. After harvest, the salt is washed, drained, cleaned and refined. This is the purest way to harvest salt, often resulting in nearly 100 percent sodium chloride, which is why this salt connoisseur will tell you sea salt tastes better.

Once purified, salt has to be kept in a sealed container or the elements around it will reduce its flavor.  If you’ve ever used a salt shaker at a beachside restaurant, you’ll find that it basically has no flavor at all.  You can swallow it by the spoonful and barely taste it. 
Jesus compares Christians to salt.  In Matthew 5:13 he said “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Salt has two basic purposes.  It provides flavor, and creates thirst.

We are to provide a flavor of Christ to all that is around us.  Whether it be our workplace, our home, the ball game, the mall, a discussion between friends, or the atmosphere of a hospital room, we are to be the flavoring of Jesus Christ. 
We are to also create thirst for Him.  Our lives should be lived in such a way as to cause others to want what we have – to be thirsty for the relationship we have with Christ.  Have you ever been hungry, but didn’t know what you wanted to eat?  In this same way, those looking for Christ don’t always know that He is what they want.  When they meet us, they should see the joy, the love, and the blessings He gives shine through, and desire that relationship with Him.

But just like salt needs to be tightly guarded once it’s purified to keep its flavor, we also have to be on guard.  Sin – the very element from which we were taken - will creep into our relationship with Christ, and cause us to go stale.  Stale salt is good for nothing.  Jesus said it is to be thrown out, cast aside, trampled back into the soil. 
There’s a lot of hard work involved in getting a teaspoon of salt out of the ground or sea water.  And there was a lot of hard work for Christ to purify us as well.  His sacrifice should not be in vain.  Be the salt you were purified to be!  Be bold in flavor!

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