John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
‘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 9:38-50
I grew up near the Atlantic Ocean and spent every hour possible in the water every summer. The ocean is a salty brine and I was always severely " pruney" when finally returning to land. As as child I was always covered in salt and sand and hated to end the day and go home to wash it all away. Covered in the salt of the ocean I felt alive and invigorated. Not everyone likes salt water, but for me, it still makes me feel especially alive and ready for the world.
The disciples were concerned about others doing miracles in Jesus' name. They were afraid, I guess of losing the special-ness of their endeavor. Jesus reminds them that they are to work with others, help others and never be those who tear others down. They are to be life giving and supportive, to be salty - full of life that invigorated and encourages others.
Today I ask God to help me have salt in myself, life and encouragement, and to share that with others. May we be fearless and kind, lively and invigorating, always encouraging and helping others, today and always.
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.