I was shivering through an outdoor sunrise service on the East Coast. It was in the mid 40's with a nice breeze blowing. I was trying to pay attention to the homily but it was difficult. The sermon was focusing on the light that Jesus brought. My mind started to wander.
There are a couple of figures of speech that are used to refer to the role of the church in the world. In one image we are called light. In another we are called salt. Since he was talking about light my mind wandered down the path of salt.
(Matthew 5:13 KJV) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
In the strange way that my mind works I asked myself, “Why did Jesus call us salt instead of pepper?”
Salt has many uses. It is a seasoning. It is a preservative. In sufficient quantities it can kill. The followers of Jesus have many roles in the world.
Salt is necessary for life.
Salt brings out the flavor. Pepper tends to cover up the flavor. Pepper is one of the new products that came from the Middle East during the Crusades. When the educational videos talk about pepper they don’t talk about it as a fine seasoning but how it was used to cover up the flavor of rotten meat. Salt keeps things from rotting, pepper covers the rot. It is possible for the church to wait too long to influence our culture. When we try to cover up we make things even worse.
I think it is time for the church to act like salt again instead of trying to go the pepper route.
But then what do I know? I am old school.
homo unius libri