Called to Be Salt
We are called to be "salt" in people's lives, and to let Jesus "salt" us with his Holy Spirit.
Two clear plastic baggies, one marked "X" with an unsalted cracker in it, and one marked "Y" with a salted cracker in it.
Everyone will be salted with fire. "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other." Mark 9:49-50 (NIV)
You have all seen those taste tests on t.v. where people are asked to taste two kinds of soda from unmarked glasses, and decide which one they like better, right?
Today, we are going to have a taste test just like that! Two of you stand up here, you are the official blind taste test sample holders, and one of you will hold bag "X" and one of you will hold bag "Y." Now I need a volunteer sampler! Volunteer, we are going to have you sample each cracker in these bags and tell us which one you think tastes better.
Holder "X," please open your bag, and Volunteer take out the cracker and just take a little taste of the cracker. How does it taste?? Ok?? Now, Holder "Y," open your bag and Volunteer, take out cracker "Y" and taste it! How does it taste? (Your volunteer will probably not say one is better, rather like mine did, that "Y" has salt on it and "X" doesn't.)
So, you noticed that cracker "Y" has salt and cracker "X" didn't! Which did you like better, the one with salt, right?
(Have your volunteers all sit down with you)
Our volunteer was right, a lot of food tastes so much beter with salt. Which do you guys like better, french fries without salt or with salt? Eggs without salt or with salt? Crackers with or without salt? (They'll say salt every time!)
You're right. Salt makes many foods taste better. It makes some bland foods like crackers taste more exciting and it makes plain 'ole french fries taste better, and who wants to eat an egg without salt? Not us!
In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us to be salt and the "have salt in ourselves!" He wants us to be out in the world making people's lives better and more flavorful and more exciting by bringing Jesus to them! We can be just like salt and make people's lives better and tastier by introducing them to Jesus and telling them all we know about him and all the wonderful things that happen in our lives because of Jesus.
But Jesus doesn't only want US to be salt, HE wants to be the salt in OUR lives...just like the cracker with salt tastes better than one without salt, OUR lives are better, more exciting, more flavorful when we let Jesus into our lives. When we go to church and Sunday School, and invite our friends to come, when we talk about Jesus and talk to him and pray, when we read the Bible, when we do the things he ask us to do, we are letting Jesus"salt us" with his Holy Spirit. Having Jeus salt us with his Holy Spirit is like having salt on our food, our lives are just so much better with Jesus' spirit than without it.
Oh, you can be a plain old saltless cracker in the world, like people who don't know Jesus -- you'll be living out in the world and maybe even doing ok, but your life can be so much more if you let Jesus into your life, to salt you up with his spirit and make your life more flavorful, more tasty, more complete.
Let's say a prayer: "Dear Jesus...thank you for being like salt on crackers for us, you make our lives better and happier because you are in our lives. Help us to be salt for you and bring your joy and happiness and flavor to other people by telling them about you!"
(Of course, all the kids got salted crackers -- but I told them to meet me after church for their crackers so we didn't make our janitors have to vacum all the pews! You could also hand out little bags of oyster crackers, which wouldn't crumble so much in the pews.)