The Sermon on the Mount continues today. “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.”
Jesus also uses the metaphor of light. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. If you make light, you don’t put it under a bushel.
Have you ever had salt that lost its saltiness?
The other day I was planning to make my award-winning Red River Bison Chili (yes, with real Oklahoma buffalo), when I realized a couple key spices on my shelf had lost their spice. I made a quick pivot to a different recipe, and put chili powder on the grocery list. Perhaps you have been in this same boat.
Salt can also lose its saltiness. Who would have thought!
Jesus, it turns out, is just as interested in outcomes as he was in intentions. He doesn’t just want us Oklahomans to be salty, he needs us to be spicy in these challenging times.
Many of us like to focus on God’s grace. We defer to “forgiveness” when anyone asks about Christian accountability. We figure we are off the hook for doing anything, because God is in control. For some, Christianity has become the broken remote. We figure if God wants to change the channel, he will “get off his lazy rear and change it himself.” Jesus appears to have some different views on that kind of thinking.
While it is unclear what exactly he is addressing, it becomes clear that action on our part is part of the deal. It is expected, if not required. Our internal drive has got to match our external motions.
This is a direct assault on those who wish to divide the spirit and the flesh, deciding that Christianity is all an interior and spiritual struggle. Jesus says no. If one is going to take religion seriously, you better be ready to have your daily routine disrupted.
There is a good bit in the Sermon on the Mount that involves right relationships. In the process of the world being turned upsidedown (e.g. blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth) there will be a righting of relationships. The world will come into harmony.
Beware though! For that which is not in harmony, is not going to be very useful in God’s new matrix. So choose your spices carefully.
P.S. The Red River Bison Chili is on its way by the way. Test run during the OU/Baylor game. You all are welcome to swing by the house and try a bowl. OU/texASS is coming soon and I will need to be armed and ready with more spices than just chili powder for that party.