Monday, August 8, 2011
“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
The Atlantic Ocean is very salty, as are all oceans. Where we live the sand and salt cling to everything.` Salt is every where even in the air, the thick warm, summer air. To take a leap into the ocean, mean to cover oneself in cool water, bobbing in the relentless waves, washed over and over again with salt. There is no escaping salt at the ocean. And the salt on the table, in the shaker, has to have rice in with it, otherwise, the damp ocean air will make the salt stick to itself, clumping all together, impossible to shake out. Being salt is always a complicated task, being leaven, flavor and life's regulator.
Jesus has taken on the task to instruct his disciples in living life without him. He has told them to be servants, to welcome children, to not be the cause of sin, and to be salt. He has also told them to be at peace with one another - probably their greatest challenge, as it is for so many of us. These instructions, so tenderly given, are for us today as well. To be at peace with one another, to be salt -leaven, flavor and regulation, a willing agent of love and forgiveness.
Today I ask God to help me be salt and to even more to be at peace with everyone I encounter. We are responsible for the welfare and well-being of others, and can be true gifts of flavor and leaven, or we can raise our own and everyone else's blood pressure. I ask God to make us all instruments of peace today.