Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Preserving the Order of the World
Luke 14:34 “Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; they throw it away. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
The role of salt has been vital throughout history as it has been used as a preservative for food. It has kept and sustained humankind over prolonged periods. Not only has it been a preservative but it has seasoned food, making it more savory. When it loses its saltiness it has no use. It is believed that salt may have been used for weed killing and also for slowing down the fermentation of dung. In other words it had a use, even beyond what we would see today and yet, without its saltiness it couldn’t even be used those purposes. It was useless and had to be thrown away.
Christians are supposed to be salt, filled with words of salvation for the world. Origen proposed the idea that the “people of God are truly the salt of the earth. They preserve the order of the world.” That is a lofty statement but his contention was that “society is held together as long as the salt is uncorrupted.” (Origen, Against Celsus 8.70) When the people of God lose their saltiness the result is disastrous and they will be cast away as useless.
We tend to interpret this scripture as God casting away the tasteless and useless Christian. At the same time the world has an expectation of Christians. There is a desire for Christians to look and act like Jesus and in doing so, that they would hold together the very fiber of the world. It is Christians who should be asking the questions about moral codes and justice and God’s love infusing the world. Christians should question the issues of corruption, evil and abuse of power which so easily permeate the culture. If we don’t do this, we will be cast aside by the world who will consider us unsavory.
The salty Christian is filled with words of salvation because the very actions of their daily lives are Jesus filled. The nature of God is revealed in and through the salt filled Christian. When Christians are not genuinely Christian, even the world will discard us and see us as irrelevant.
Salt must be genuine salt. Christians must be genuine Christians!
Lord, lead me today to be your savory presence in the world. Amen.