Monday, August 12, 2013


“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

In our modern diets, many people shun salt and see it as the enemy. In ancient times, salt was highly prized. The word salary comes from the word salt, and the phrase "worth their salt" comes from the ancient practice of paying people with salt. It was highly prized and valuable. Locally, we have several folks who sell flavored sea salts harvested from the ocean here. By the cost, and how people prize it, you can tell how valuable it is considered.

Jesus is speaking to the disciples about their value and their endurance. He refers to salt, and the disciples would have understood what he meant. They were extremely valuable but would have to face many threats and "fires". They would be tested, but at no time should they see the testing as their loss of importance, but rather as the cost of being so essential to God's mission on earth. All of us face tests and fires that make us want to run away. We can sometimes feel as if the cost of following God's way is too much for us. And yet we need to hear today how highly prized and valuable we are. God asks us to see the tests as tests only. We are invited to weather the storms for the love of the world.

Today I ask God to help me face the fires and the storms knowing I am held in God's arms. May we remember our value today, and know that we are highly prized and loved by God. The tests will come to everyone and we are assured that even in the testing God goes with us. May we endure with joy and peace for the sake of our world, which needs God's love today.

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