Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Special thanks to Peggy Graff and her guests for providing this uplifting and inspiring addition to us in her Dog Days Duets series. I pray that these weekly selections will uplift your spirits and feed your soul as much as it does mine.
Matthew 5:13-16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Since the latter half of the 1800’s, to refer to a person as “salty” has meant coarse or angry, irritated, or hostile. Not an adjective you want to wear. However, Jesus describes his followers as SALT. So, I want us to hear the word “salty” in a different way.
I remember an old retired pastor I knew describing the members of my first congregation with these words: “They are the salt of the earth.” I knew what he meant. He meant that they were good people. They were ethical, stable, dependable, solid folk who had as much concern for others as they had for themselves.
Jesus said to his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth.” Salt is essential to the health of people and animals and is used universally as a seasoning. Saltiness is one of the five basic taste sensations. Not only that, but salting is an important method of food preservation.
So valuable was salt in antiquity, that Moorish merchants in the 6th century traded salt for gold, weight for weight. People are “worth their salt” if they do a good job. The very word “salary” is from the Latin for “salt,” a reflection of the fact that part of a Roman soldier’s pay was in the form of salt or money that allowed the soldier to buy that valuable commodity.
So, what might Jesus mean? Think of the uses and value of salt. Salt Purifies, Heals and Preserves. It even makes life possible. And Salt Adds Flavor. Perhaps what Jesus was saying to his followers was Your are valuable. You have the power to preserve what is good and to enable life. You can add flavor to life.
Jesus also called his follower the light of the world, reminding them to let their light shine with their good works.
Both of these images challenge all who are followers of Jesus to be who Jesus says we are: salt and light.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster