Some of you know I like to cook. It is just one of my things. My dad taught me the love of cooking. When I cook it is one of the ways I remember him. One of dad's recipes that he passed down to me was cole slaw.
I like all kinds of cole slaw but my favorite is oil/vinegar-based cole slaw. I love the tangy flavors all mixed together in what is culinarily defined as pickling. I have some of that slaw in the fridge right now and it will not be there long!
One day I was enjoying some of my slaw and suddenly had a very salty taste in my mouth. I had hit a little pocket of undissolved salt and it effectively ruined that bite of slaw. Too much salt is not good in any recipe. All you taste is salt and it fails to bring out the flavor it is made to enhance.
I believe this is why Jesus (Matthew 5:13) uses salt as a description of His people. He tells them, "You are the salt of the earth!" They exist to add flavor and to do what salt does best ... to enhance what is already there. What a great analogy of the Church! God has placed all kinds of people on this earth. They are His creations. Our tendency is to find people like us and hang out with them, gathering a group that is homogeneous. We get very comfortable and sometimes lethargic as we hang out with all the other "salt." I think God doesn't like this dynamic. He wants salt to be spread out and flavor the whole world. So the Church, in Acts, is scattered. God allows discomfort and hardship because God's goal is to see that salt spread out far and wide ... over the whole world.
I believe God is still doing this. I see it in the good things happening at Abbeville UMC as we spread salt around the world ... at CR, on Wednesday night, at the Boys and Girls Club, through Backpacks for Friday, embedded in our apportioned giving, in Belize and into the very fabric of life all over the world. We are called to be the salt of the earth. We bring out the good taste (gifts, graces, goodness) in those people we touch with our lives and ministries. And it tastes divine! Randy