Today's Lectionary Text
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.
Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.
Salty language doesn’t seem like something we should strive for as followers of Christ. After all, to use salty language originally meant you swore like a sailor. That doesn’t fit with who we are called to be, and it really doesn’t fit with Paul’s instruction for our speech to be gracious and seasoned with salt.
When we add salt to food, it does more than make it salty. When we season with salt it will counteract bitterness. To be gracious and not bitter in our speech could have a transformational effect in the world around us. The world we live in seems more polarized than ever, and it’s become easy to see so many issues as “us” and “them”, and there’s little desire for civility. It’s easier to shout each other down on social media than engage in real dialogue. We see it in politics, in our denomination, and it continues to filter into more and more areas of our lives.
Imagine what could happen if we were to live our lives differently than those around us. If we are willing to have honest, thoughtful conversations about difficult topics, if we speak and listen with grace, if we don’t speak with bitterness and anger, then we would engage those around us differently than most. It is a challenge. It is easier to either simply argue, or to do what we’ve been taught polite people do; avoid conversations about difficult topics.
But if we are willing to choose the more difficult path, and to choose it with the confidence God is with us, we can transform the world by choosing to strive for wisdom, grace and conversations seasoned with salt.
-Pastor Michael Turner
Auburn, KS and Topeka Grace UMC's
Prayer for Reflection
Holy God, as we interact with others in our lives help us to speak wisely, graciously, and without bitterness. We pray you guide us in those moments when the conversations are difficult, and we remember even when we disagree, we are all still your children. Amen.
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