North Broadway United Methodist Church

Lent 2017: Day 9

Reflection on 40 Days with Wesley by Rueben Job
Day 9: Remembering Who We Are

You are the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13. Have you ever stopped to think about how prevalent salt is in your life? Or how vital it is to your existence? I googled uses of salt a couple of years ago in preparation for a children’s message and I was surprised to learn about its many uses. Here are a few that come to mind today:
• Salt enhances the taste of food, just like we as disciples of Jesus enhance the world around us by sprinkling in a little love.
• Salt melts ice much like the love of Christ melts anger and hatred.
• The love God pours out to us, and invites us to receive, and calls us to give, has the power to heal brokenness. Salt is used to clean up messes. Likewise, love scrubs away the things that dim the light of God within us and lets the light rays radiate for all the world to see.
• We have to have enough salt in our bodies for all our systems to function properly, much like we need love to sustain life; without enough salt we literally parish; without love, we become dry bones, the walking dead.
• Like salt, love is all around us. Salt is used in the making of products we use every day like paper, plastic and glass. Love can be seen all around us. Today, I have witnessed love in the eyes of a baby staring in awe at its mamma. I saw it in the big smile on the face of the man who thanked me for holding he door open for him as he exited McDonalds with hands full of food. I heard the desire for love from a woman who called me, feeling isolated and alone asking for prayer and I witnessed the cleansing power of love through praying and her response to receiving love. I felt the love a fellow pastor has for God and for her congregation as we discussed her sermon for Sunday. Indeed love is all around us! I give thanks to God for this devotion opening my eyes to see and my ears to hear love that surrounds me this day!

And, there is more…Salt is good for nothing if it loses its saltiness. If it is stripped of what makes it salt, it is useless. Salt is useless as salt if it cannot be salt. Salt has an identity. It has particular properties. Salt is salt no matter where in the world it is found. The devotion today also reminds us that, like salt, we have an identity and a purpose. We are children of God, made in the image of God and we are called to be Christians—ones who spread the love of Christ everywhere we are. This is an identity that is at the core of who we are. It is not a jacket we put on when we need it or when it looks good. We are children of God, it is in our nature to love radically, all of creation. This is powerful stuff! No matter my doubts or no matter how strong the messages of the world ringing in my ear to fear, to retreat, to retaliate, to protect thyself from evil, God gives me the power to respond with love.

Salt can lose its saltiness and we are all well aware that we have the capacity to fail miserably in our call to love. How do we prevent from losing our saltiness? How do we prevent ourselves and our fellow Christians from being stripped of our identity? Job gives us a powerful answer in the reflection: “daily and intimate companionship” with our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. All we need is provided for us. The one who breathed life into us, provides for us all the days of our life.

I would love to hear from you. Where have you experienced love today? What in the reading stood out for you? What is pulling at your heart this day?

Pastor Wendy