If you have ever made a recipe from scratch and forgot to add salt, you know how important salt as a flavor enhancer can be. So many of our canned foods have so much salt, there are some recipes I don’t even add salt to anymore. But true home-cookin’ without salt is one of the most bland experiences life can dole out.
In our lesson in Mark, there is talk of saltiness. It is pretty evident that Mark has put together a series of detached sayings by Jesus all in one place, all relating to sin, temptation, and self-sacrifice. He ends with “For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
If you don’t believe the Bible is full of metaphors, today will be a struggle. Jesus is not saying “Salt yourself” when he says “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace….” Instead he is talking about being authentic. Be who you were meant to be. Live genuinely in relationships with one another.
Back in those days, salt wasn’t a food enhancer as much as it was a preservative. No electricity – no refrigerators – a lot of hot weather. If they didn’t have salt, there wasn’t going to be much storage of food. Salt meant life, just like water meant life.
Jesus wants us to be the best disciples we can be. This means a life of self-sacrifice, and giving to others. That is what we are meant to be. We are meant to serve in love, and not sugar coat things, but be genuinely loving people. There is not pretending, or trying in Jesus’ world – there is radical transformation and a radical path of selflessness and joy and peace.