Being Salt

Anita Ruis, May 12, 2021, 6:43 PM
Anita Ruis National Director
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From the very beginning of Jesus' ministry, He turned upside down many of the preconceived ideas of those around Him as to who He was and what He was about.  Even His disciples who spent countless hours with Him were astonished at the things He would say and do.

For all those who were anticipating a Messiah King who would come in power and crush their Roman oppressors, His message of influencing through mercy, kindness, and humility rather than domination and might could not have collided more.

His compelling invitation for his disciples to be like salt, light and sheep among wolves, would have appeared to some as weak and powerless.  It's for this reason that there are those today who would label Jesus' ministry with the moniker "mess with your mind ministries". Upside down, inside out, blessed when cursed, when we mourn, when we are merciful, when we practice restraint and when we build bridges to peace. How bewilderingly different is this Jesus Kingdom from anything else we experience in the world around us.

When we as His disciples resonate Jesus like this, we provoke those who experience us to look to the One we follow.

It's in this way we become the "salt" Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5:13 It's a descriptor of a quality of "being" rather than just something we do or achieve.  He is calling us to be a "presence" in the world around us that embodies the Way of Christ.

Salt has a couple of fascinating qualities. It preserves and keeps things from decay and decomposition.  There is something about who we are to be in Jesus that works to undermines the death fostered by the enemy in our culture and society.  It's not so much what we do and far more about who we "are".

We are kind in the face of unkindness
Gentle, longsuffering
Care for the unlovable, touch the untouchable
Concerned for the lonely and our lives are marked by thoughtfulness
We are quick to forgive and hold no record of wrongs

Our "presence" is to undermine and disarm despair and to carry the hope of the One who is shining in and through us.

Salt also brings out the flavour to what is being eaten.  It draws out the colour and brings vitality. There is something about who we are in Christ that is to bring life to those around us.  We are to add flavour and to draw out that flavour in others.  We are to reflect something of the beauty and the joy of our lifegiving Creator. This "quality" is not dependent on circumstances for we are to be "salt" in good times and in bad.

In Palestine flakes of salt form on the rocky shores of the dead sea at night.  In the morning the sun rises and under its heat the salt loses its' saltiness and distinctiveness by blending with the shore and sand. The salt then is no longer useful and is tossed away.

In Matthew 5:13 Jesus cautions His disciples that it is possible for us to lose this "quality of being salt".

A few years back a young Muslim leader who was a guest on a popular news show, appealed to those who called themselves Christians to just "follow Jesus like you say you do".

A Jesus reflecting "presence" in an extraordinary moment in human history!!  May God equip us as we lean into His strength and seek to undermine loss and decay while sowing life, vitality and hope to all those who are watching in this hour.

Anita & David
National Directors Vineyard Canada