FIRST-PERSON

FIRST-PERSON: Be salt God called you to be

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We had never been inside a Jewish temple before.  We’d been by it or close to it, but never IN it!

             
It was the late ‘90’s.  My beloved was a new pastor.  The Bible was coming to life like never before.  He was hungry for all things Jesus, especially soaking up His Jewish-ness.  The Rosen family, members of the local synagogue, invited us to a special holiday service, dinner would follow.

             
What a wonderful opportunity!  We jumped at the chance.

             
I was so excited to be there, soaking up every part and trying my best not to do anything dumb.


Several men took turns reading from the treasured scrolls during the service.  It gave me chills as they tenderly handled the Word of God.  I pictured men of the Old Testament doing the same. 

             
The dinner that followed is still a delicious memory.

             
The roast.  Oh, the roast…was so tender and amazing.  It was almost perfect.

             
And the mashed potatoes.  Oh, those mashed potatoes!  Those women sure knew how to cook!  They were almost perfect.

             
Then there was the gravy.  Oh, the gravy!  Rich, brown goodness.  It was almost perfect.

             
As I tasted each scrumptious dish, I realized zero salt had been added to anything.  I casually looked around for a saltshaker; none on our table.  Glancing around the dining area, nada.  Could I ask for some?  Was there some holy Jewish rule requiring them to abstain from salt during the holiday?  I really needed some salt, but would I offend everyone around us and ultimately the family who had generously invited Baptist guests?  If I insulted all these kind Jewish friends, we would NEVER be asked back!

             
I ate my roast, mashed potatoes, and rich brown gravy silently longing for pinches of salt. 

             
As I finished, an older lady joined us, sitting straight across the table.  She called out loudly to someone in the kitchen, “COULD YOU BRING US SOME SALT?”  My eyes were big.  “I can’t have salt so I never think to put it out,” she informed me.  Dadgum it!  Though everything was tasty, it would have been heavenly with a little bit of the white seasoning.

             
Salt is good for many things.  It certainly adds flavor, is a preservative, relieves canker sores and/or sore throats (a personal favorite).  If you search the internet, you will find dozens of other uses such as deodorizing shoes (who knew?), cleaning silk flowers, deterring ants and dousing the flames of a grease fire.

             
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, Jesus impressed on the disciples many important things.  “You are the salt of the earth…” He told them.  That goes for us as well.  As followers of Christ, we add flavor to the world by sharing the good news of His love.  We don’t HAVE to be salt; we GET to be salt.  According to faithgateway.com, “Our purpose is to bring the taste of Heaven to earth wherever we go.”  

             
Remembering the need for salt at the synagogue and Jesus’ Words, I have to ask:  Am I adding flavor to the lives of others?  Do my words and actions make others hungry to know Him?  Do I live as a good example of Jesus, causing others to WANT to “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” (Psalm 34:8)?  If I ask Him, my Heavenly Father will show me what needs to change for me to be a better witness. 

             
There are many types of salt:  kosher, rock, seasoned, Himalayan, pickling and others.  Each one, though different, is used to enhance flavor.  Each follower of Christ, though different, can be used to point people to Him.

Be the salt God has called you to be!

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