It's time to eat! After giving thanks, your loved ones sit down at the table and begin passing around the meat, veggies, salad, and fresh warm oven-baked bread to be enjoyed by those who are not on low carb diets! The family chef who worked hard to season everything just right has a look of satisfaction on their face as the family feasts on the delicious meal.
And then it happens ... that request that reminds the family chef that it's hard to please all the people all the time ... "would someone please pass the salt"?
In our culture, salt is something that you shake from a shaker to add some extra flavoring to food. In ancient Bible times, salt was an essential part of everyday life! Soldiers were paid with salt as a unit of exchange, salt was mixed with the grain sacrifices offered by priests, covenants were made with salt, food was preserved with salt, it was used for medicinal purposes, as a preservative and token seal of friendship.
There was also a Dead Sea full of salt (which I just visited while in the Holy Land earlier this month), which played a vital role in supplying God's people with salt. So when Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 5:13-20, "you are the salt of the earth" (not to mention "you are the light of the world"), they heard something that surpasses our cultural context for "please pass the salt".
This coming Lord's Day, we will explore some ways that we can be "salt and light" in our everyday world!