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Salt

7May2013

Matthew 5:13 “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.

 

Salt

Salt

 

This past Saturday I realized something incredibly important. I already knew it but I was reminded in an “in your face” kinda way. I realized that I was absolutely STARVING for God. You would think that one who is a pastor would never starve for God, wouldn’t you? Not so. I’m not the only one who is serving a parish who is starving for the divine presence. And that my friends is a very dangerous thing.

Hungry is an interesting thing. We have these nerve cells in our stomachs called proprioreceptors that tell us when we are hungry or full. That signals to our brain to go find something to eat as our blood sugar drops and our hands begin to shake or we get a raging headache. Feed me! Feed me, our bodies say to us. So dutifully obeying our bodies we wander to the kitchen and peer into the fridge, grab a sandwich or a piece of fruit and are satisfied. Not so with our hunger for God, unless we are paying attention to the spiritual proprioreceptors that God programmed into us at our conception.

You are the salt of the earth. But what happens when salt has lost its saltiness? It is useless, it cannot do what it is meant to do: season, flavor, preserve, stabilize. Might as well throw it out if it’s no longer salty because frankly it is simply disgusting. It’s the same with the Christian walk with Christ. When you and I get so busy, filling our days with more and more stuff to do, running hither and yon attending to everyone else and forget to pay attention to our most significant relationship, we lose our saltiness. We lose our first love. We forget who is our top priority. . . and then we starve— to DEATH. Spiritual DEATH.

Now I know there are people in my parish who say to me quite frequently, “Go home. Take a day off. Take care of yourself. Slow down. Rest. We don’t want to see you tomorrow.” All said in love. And I try, I really do. But I haven’t tried hard enough. Friends, we have to take care of ourselves first. This is not selfish, this is essential. If we lose our saltiness (our love of Christ, our connection to God, the renewal of our spirit) the we are good for nothing, nada, nil, vilch, zip. . . get the idea?

It may just be sodium chloride to you, but it is essential for life according to Christ. (And when you think about the metaphor, salt is actually essential to life. We can’t live without it.) I owe my parish a huge, “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry I haven’t been taking care of myself. I’m sorry my bible has been on a shelf. I’m sorry I have neglected to pray. I owe you more than that! I’m sorry for the shallow messages. I’m sorry for the triviality of my sermons. I owe you more than that! If I want you to live like salt of the earth, then I must first live like salt of the earth. Please forgive me, and bless me as I spend some much needed time with my Lord.

acl@CCD

 

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