Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pass the salt, please.

Salt. We are constantly warned about the effects of too much salt on our bodies. We are told on television. We are told by doctors. We are told by family and friends. We are told not to use to much and it would be better not to use it at all. I want to point out to you that there is a physical and a spiritual consequence to a lack of salt in one’s life. Physically we need sodium and without a bit of salt in out bodies, our health fails and we can die from a lack of salt. Too little salt is as dangerous as too much.

The same is true spiritually for the individual and for the Church. We are already salt if we are believers in the Lord Jesus. No lines, no waiting. We are in this moment as people and as a community, salt. It should be noted that slat never stops being salt but it can lose its effectiveness. It can become something less than what it once was. The spiritual life can become diluted and insipid. Ineffective. Useless. All it becomes good for is being thrown out. Somehow a lot of why I am saying sounds familiar in the life of the Church... doesn’t it?

So what do we do? First of all we are called to recognize what we are: SALT. The Church is salt in the world. What does salt do? Salt penetrates deep into whatever it is given to. Salt brings out what is hidden; both the good and the bad. Salt preserves what it penetrates and it draws out the flavour of whatever it penetrates when it is cooked and consumed. Salt helps to retain water which is necessary for life to happen.

So what should the Church do? In short, it needs to participate. We need to be recognizable as Christian people in the world. We need to penetrate our society and preserve those parts of it that best reflect who God is and what God does that this city and the nation would recognize that God is amongst them. The Church needs to be self disciplined in its work in and with the world. The Church needs to be wise and disciplined in its witness to the world about God. We need to confess Christ; him crucified and risen from the dead. We need to remind this world that God has come to us, all of us. And in the going we need to live a life that is not just morally pure but live a life in the service of others.

People in the Church complain about the lack of young people. What draws in the younger generation is a faith that is not only deeply held, but that actually has an impact, in a positive way, on the life of another. Faith needs to lead and to go somewhere. Faith is not solely about one person anymore. It is about all of us. The way we live and the way we serve is watched. My generation is watching the Church with a great desire to see the fellowship grow and a drive to go and make Christ known. Conversely, my generation is not interested in the past or in trying to maintain the Church as it has been for our parents and grandparents. We will not support the structures of the past but rather concern ourselves with the mission and the kingdom. In the short term, that may make us a financially poor Church, but one worth being a part of as we focus on reaching out to the least, the last and the lost of our communities, cities and nations. We will become again that has no wealth to offer but will offer what we do have: health and rescue in the name of the Lord Jesus. 

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