Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Salt and Peace

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” Mark 9:42-50

Many municipalities are low on salt after all the snow and ice. Many have exceeded their budgets and are buying on credit. Some haven't paid last year's salt bill and are facing financial challenges to pay for the salt and the road crews to move the snow. Salt has always been a very valuable commodity, whether it is for food or for saving lives. Too often in our present day society, we askew salt since it is bad for the heart and other organs. But salt is essential to life, and our bodies need it. The oceans would be dead without their salt as would we. Peace too is a precious commodity, much more rare than salt, even. There are plenty of salty people in this world, but few who are peace throughout their being.

Jesus told his disciples to have salt in themselves and peace among themselves.Whenever Jesus instructs them to do something, we can know that it is a terribly hard thing. None of us can accomplish it alone. We need to be a community together, a people who are committed to reconciliation and forgiveness, to vibrancy and honoring everyone's gifts, if we are to be salt and peace.

Today, I ask God to help me understand the value of both salt and peace, and to make my every action about salt and peace today. May my words and actions be encouraging and life giving. May all that we do today be for the raising up of others and honoring them for the precious gifts they are to God.

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