18 October 2005

Salt? Light?

On Sunday my little church continued it's consideration of that passage in the Bible we now call The Sermon on the Mount (it's in the gospel according to Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7). We were looking especially at this passage:

13"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

14"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. 15If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. 16Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand--shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.


So we did something a little different. We actually tasted salt. Well ... we tasted some food (curry and coffee cake to be specific) withOUT salt and then WITH salt. To see what the difference was. To see for ourselves what exactly it is that salt does to food when you use it in cooking. We called it "culinary worship." What was interesting was that all the flavors were all there without the salt, you just couldn't really taste them. They were flat, like flat soda. But when you add salt, just a little (like a quarter to half a teaspoon - depending on the recipe), the flavors just pop!

During the whole service, one of our community painted a painting in very dim light on the stage. At the end we got to watch as the light played on it. To see what light does to color. To watch as the colors that were already there came out as the light was added.

So I've been thinking since then about the last couple of sentences in that passage. "Keep open house; be generous with your life. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven." And thinking about how to be more generous - emotionally, financially, mentally, physically. That part fascinates me and makes me think it would be possible to live in Christmas morning all year round. What would the world look like if we all did that? What would the world look like if we all made all the little decisions in our lives through the lens of generosity towards others? Rather than making those same decisions based on how much money we'd save, or how many more "x" we can get for a dollar or how much more quickly we can attain the great American dream (whatever that is anymore)? I've just been wondering ....

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