Being Salty – Taste and See

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?”[1]

“Taste and see that the Lord is good;”[2]

Salt has a number of qualities, with regards to food, it acts as a preservative, but it also acts to enhance flavour.  I think it is helpful to think of the church’s saltiness in this regard.  God invites us to taste and see that he is good. Indeed, the Bible often uses the imagery of food and feasting to get across that sense of our dependence on God and his goodness. 

For example, Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep.  The imagery of food, eating and hunger appears earlier in the sermon on the Mount as those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are described as happy because they will be satisfied.  We talk about God’s word as food and most significantly of all, Christ calls us to feed on him.

So, how will the people around us get to taste and to discover all the goodness of God that there is to enjoy?  Surely it is as they encounter God’s people.  So, what flavour are they picking up from us? Do they taste goodness, or is there something off/unpleasant?  I guess that just as Jesus finds it worse for the Laodicean church to be lukewarm than to be hot or cold, so the worst scenario is when there is just nothing there, we are bland, flavourless.

What this means is that the culture of our church must reflect the Gospel, not just the teaching. It is no good having sermons from the front talking about grace if we are legalistic in our dealings with each other. Nor can we talk about love if there is an absence of loving kindness between us.

It does also mean that the message has to be “tasty” too. There can be no place for bland homilies in our gatherings. We want people to be drawn in both by the sense of love, welcome and joy that they pick up from us and through the attractiveness of the Gospel message.

[1] Matthew 5:13.

[2] Psalm 34:8

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