“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”Matthew 5:13
I have a colleague called Danny who often pops into my classroom. He is a regular visitor during school breaks, when he often brings me biscuits! His visits aren’t restricted just to break times, however. He sometimes pops in during lessons and sits and the back, observing what is happening. He ribs me that my lessons consist entirely of videos and source exercises. Danny tells me that if I want to make my lessons more enjoyable I should try to make the History I’m teaching my pupils more relevant. I need to make the material I teach relevant to the lives our children live today. Whilst I’m happy to take his biscuits I usually ignore his teaching advice!
In today’s Daily Reflection, we move from the section of the Sermon on the Mount known as ‘the beatitudes’ in which Jesus outlined the character traits expected of a Christian and onto specific guidance about how to live as a Christian in the world. Jesus begins with this thought provoking teaching focused on salt. Jesus describes his followers as “the salt of the earth.” By seeking to live in the world as prescribed in the beatitudes Christians serve as the “salt of the earth.” Just as salt is rubbed into meat to prevent it decaying, Christians living a Christ-like lifestyle will stand against the moral and spiritual decay that we see all around us. By seeking to build the Kingdom of God in the here and now our influence can actually hold back the rot of a world without God.
Having established that Christians are like salt to the world, Jesus warns his followers of the importance of maintaining their distinctiveness. Christians must not seek to conform to the world or to limit their Christian-ness around their friends and colleagues. We must be wary of ‘making Christianity more relevant’ to the world of today. Christians must strive to live as outlined in the beatitudes at all times. If we do not, we lose our saltiness. And what is salt that is no longer salty good for? Absolutely nothing, other than for being thrown away and trampled into the ground. If we, as Christians, downplay our beliefs, or limit our Christianity, then we no longer serve as a defence against the moral degradation of God’s beautiful creation.
So today let’s remember that we are the salt of the earth and strive to maintain our saltiness at all times and in all places. Let us ensure that we are not fit only for being discarded, but instead stand firm as God’s preservative, holding back the decay of the world in which we live.