Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/5/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Debbie Hull
Fairway: Old Mission UMC
Kansas City District
David Livingston
Fairway: Old Mission UMC
Kansas City District
Karen Nyhart
Fairway: Old Mission UMC
Kansas City District
Nancy Pauls
Fairway: Old Mission UMC
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 5:13

You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

Today's Devotional

There is already so much salt in the food we buy that my wife, Anna, and I rarely add salt to the things we eat. Our children were used to this until they spent time with our extended family where salt is used quite liberally. When they would ask for salt on their food, we would take the salt shaker and make it look like we were salting their food and the kids never seemed to notice that we weren’t. That is until one evening while on vacation when we stopped at a restaurant on our way to see my parents. My son asked for salt on his fries, and I grabbed the shaker and shook it over the plate as I had done at many other meals. This time though, I got busted! My son saw that no salt actually came out and indignantly explained, “Hey, Dad, you’re ‘air salting’ my fries!” From then on, our children would always watch with a skeptical eye to make sure that salt actually got on their food. Many years later we still laugh about that “air salt” episode while on vacation!

As I smile at this funny moment in our family’s past, I am reminded of Jesus’ teaching about salt and wondering if I might be “air salting” aspects of my faith by not fully embracing His call to follow Him.
In Matthew 5:13 He tells his Disciples, 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”
To demonstrate the impact His followers would make on their world, Jesus used a common commodity of His day, salt.

For many of us, making the connection between salt and living out our faith in the world may be a stretch because we don’t use salt in the same way that people did in Jesus’ day. In our culture salt is everywhere, and in everything. That wasn’t the case in first century. In that time, salt was a precious commodity that served a variety of crucial purposes. Sometimes it was used in exchange for other goods instead of coins, and it was also used most often as a preservative. Before refrigeration, salted foods were the lifeline to survival when fresh foods became scarce. Salt was used as a disinfectant to help wounds heal and scattered into the soil to enhance the productivity of crops. Salt transforms and enhances the things it comes into contact with and so should we! Jesus calls His followers to be the salt of the earth to be change agents. It’s the disciple's job to work in their environment and subtly change its character for the good.

Here’s a way we might see following Jesus and engaging our world intersect. They both require internal growth as well as an external response.

Internal in that as was we study the scriptures and seek to grow closer to God in prayer. Jesus’ teachings and values become a part of us in ways that we might not have been aware of. As we begin to align our thoughts and actions to honoring God with all that we are and to love our neighbors with that same spirit. This happens internally, over time as we are active in seeking to be more like Jesus.

But there’s more, as followers of Jesus we are called to be change agents in our classrooms, with our friends, in our weekend activities and at our jobs. It might be tempting to stay within our comfortable circles or friend groups, but we are called to something much greater. You and are called to offer a smile when we see a frown, kind words in response to an insult, forgiveness even when it may not seem deserved.

When we live this way and respond in this fashion, we have the opportunity to show others what makes our lives different and point those around us to the morals and values that make up a “salty” way of life. With the hope that through our lives and the way we live we might bring glory to God and lead someone to ask why our lives seem a little bit different. This gives us an opening to share how Jesus has changed our lives.

It’s time to get “salty” and live out what we know and hold true in our hearts, that lives are changed when people encounter Jesus and experience His love through us!
--Rev. Steve Spencer
Wichita East Heights UMC

 

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