Tuesday, February 10, 2009


" ‘For everyone will be salted with fire.
Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’ " Mark 9:49-50

In this part of the country, we have had a lot more snow and cold than usual. I was talking with a doctor recently who said he had five visits from the snow removal guys in January 2009 alone. That was as many as he had all of 2008. We have had a thawing in the past few days and folks have run to the car washes to remove the overwhelming amount of dried salt off of their vehicles. As the snow disappears, there is still evidence of salt and its effects everywhere. Our own steps and sidewalks are still littered with salt although the snow and ice is long gone. Salt is a necessary element in our lives, not only for flavor and preservation, but for surviving snow and ice. And although it is not necessarily charming or without mess, salt is elemental to our very existence.

Jesus is talking to his disciples about what is necessary for life. He instructs them that one could do without a certain body part rather than sin. Well, that's pretty drastic in my book, but the point is made. We often nurture grudges, anger, and attitude - none of which is elemental to our existence. In contrast, Jesus does say we need salt, but just enough for survival and not enough to threatened the peace in our community. Jesus is all about relationship and the care we take with ourselves and our belongings. Jesus wants his disciples to be full of life (salt) but not so that the weak, vulnerable and undefended are threatened. How relevant a teaching this is in our time?

Today, I want to take care that everything I do is life giving to others as well as to myself. I pray that I can be aware of my own needs while not depriving another of what they need to survive. God has provided us with abundance, if we are but willing to use what we need and share with others. May we have the courage today, in every corner of our world, to make space for others, bring peace in our communities and protect the innocent by sharing the abundance of resources we have been given. I pray that in these hard economic times, we might all be agents for God's change and God's abundance.

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