Summertime! Here on the Illinois prairie it is a time of warm, humid days. Sunshine and wind rustling the corn fields.
Picnics and backyard BBQ’s with hamburgers, hotdogs and watermelon.
Ah, watermelon. I love a sweet, juicy, chilled watermelon on a hot summer day.
I have fond memories of sitting in my grandparent’s yard along the banks of Squaw Creek in Ingleside, fishing for bluegill and crappie and eating watermelon in the shade of their huge and ancient willow tree.
As I look over to my right in my memory I see my grandmother – Nana – sitting there with a cane fishing pole eating a big slice of watermelon.
Before she takes each bite, she sprinkles a little salt on it!
Now, I like salt. I like salt on my popcorn, on my salad (along with lemon juice), on my potatoes and chips.
But on watermelon?
It was a delicacy to her, but I never understood it.
Salt is an important part of a person’s diet. According to the website fitday.com salt helps retain water in the body, stimulates muscle contraction, and contains nutrients vital to the digestive system while low levels of salt in the body, along with low blood pressure, leads to shock.
It is also known that salt, like just about everything else, is only good in moderation. Excessive intake of salt is very bad for a person.
Salt has also been an important economic commodity, especially in its importance in preserving food. So much so, it is thought by some, that early in the Roman era soldiers were paid in salt.
Both the words salary and soldier have their roots in the Latin word for salt.
The benefits and commodity of salt seem to be on Jesus’ mind when he tells us that “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away.”
He would go on to call his followers the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13).
Our faith is what makes us “salty” – that is, what makes us beneficial and precious to others. As long as we have faith and continue to grow in our faith, we can be of benefit to others in this world. A benefit by sharing the Good News of Jesus with them.
We are precious because of our response – in faith – to God’s love for us. Our response is to love and serve others. Loving and helping others is how we are “salty.”
Like real salt, we can lose our saltiness. If we do not strengthen our faith through the use of the Means of Grace (most notably the reading of God’s Word regularly and receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion regularly – if appropriate) we can suffer from weakened faith that will not be considered “salty” by Jesus’ standards. See what Jesus says about what to do with such salt!
Let’s stay salty! Let’s continue to be a benefit and precious to the people of our world by salting their lives with the Gospel and the love that responds to the Gospel!
©2017 True Men Ministries