“You are the Salt of the Earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” Matthew 5:13
The Dead Sea is well, dead. Since water goes in but never goes out, it simply becomes saltier and saltier. Nothing grows there except a few eerie salt formations. There is even a mountainous area (Mount Sodom) near The Dead Sea where it is said a stand alone “pillar of salt” just may have been Lot’s disobedient wife. The Dead Sea, or the Salt Sea, is located on the border of Israel and is almost 10 times saltier than the ocean.
Back in Bible times God’s people used The Dead Sea as a resource for salt in cooking and as a preservative… even as a disinfectant.
The salt was collected and carried out.
Today The Dead Sea is a place to hang out… Health Tourism, they call it.
Apparently the sea bed has deposits of black mud which are full of nourishing minerals. The air contains bromide which is calming. People around the world come to the Dead Sea for everything from sinus issues to pain relief for arthritis. Vacationers enjoy the decadent spas in the area and strange, spontaneous floating in this salty body of water. (Want to book a trip? Here you go!)
People who vacation at this salt water wish they never had to leave.
Oh the irony!
Then: A resource to be used and shared
Now: A destination to be enjoyed
If we’re not careful, the Christian life can be too much day spa and not enough preservative.
In Matthew 5 followers of Jesus Christ are called “salt of the earth.” Christians in the world are meant to be useful to add flavor. We are also preservatives… preserving society from the evil inherent in a world corrupted by sin ( (Psalm 14:3; Romans 8:8). In order to be salt, Christians must leave the Christian bubble.
We get an idea in our minds that the highest kind of Christian is an insulated one. So, leaving the world behind that person charges ahead… surrounding themselves with like-minded individuals. A like-minded education, supporting business at like-minded establishments, watching like-minded media, and serving in a like-minded church. Garage door up, garage door down. A safe, day spa life full of Christians enjoying the salt.
What if Christ really wanted us to eat and drink with sinners… and pour out the salt there?
What if Christ wanted us to change our schedules to fit in fewer church activities so we’d have time to get to know unbelievers… and pour out the salt there?
What if Christ wanted us to rub shoulders with our enemies… and pour out the salt there?
What if Christ asked us to leave safe and salt-saturated lives, bloated from too many sermons, podcasts, and not enough rubbing shoulders with a world going to Hell?
Are we ready to stop being over taught and under living?
Perhaps the ideal Christian life is the one that makes Christians shake their heads because of the company they keep. They stand for grace and truth. Too liberal for the conservatives and too conservative for the liberals…
In the world. Not of the world. They don’t fit. Well, they’d be in good company- neither did Jesus.