There are few more ominous signs of a disappointing meal than a nearly full saltshaker in the kitchen and a nearly empty one in the dining room. This is often an indicator that salt is being used to flavor bland food on the plate rather than delicious food in the pot. Salt, when used correctly during the cooking process, enhances the natural sweet, savory, and subtle flavors of a meal while reducing bitterness. In other words, salt makes things taste the way they are supposed to taste.
Often times, we reflect on Jesus’ commission to the disciples to be the salt of the world, we think of faithfulness in terms of table salt. We often fail to allow the Gospel to fully flavor our own lives, focusing only on belief in the Gospel story rather than becoming the people of God. It is no surprise, then, that our approach to Christ’s redemptive work is often focused on telling the story of Jesus rather than embodying and participating in it.
What would it look like for us to truly be the salt of the world as Jesus described? Not table salt that rejects and overwhelms the world that God loves, but kitchen salt that reduces the bitterness of injustice, violence, and cruelty while enhancing the flavors of justice, peace, and love.
What if we approached our work not simply as a means of provision, but instead we enhanced the natural and subtle flavors of God’s kingdom that are present in our professions and careers in law, business, medicine, education, and all the other work of our hands?
What could happen if we truly believed that God is calling each of us to partner with one another in the work of Christ, not to overpower the world, but to make it taste like the world God created and is redeeming?
Each summer, we have the privilege of welcoming high school students to Campbell University for a two-week institute to explore what it means to faithfully live into our vocations through the work God calls each of us into. For more information about the Campbell Youth Theological Institute and how a high school student you work with can join us to discern God’s calling in their life, check us out at www.campbell.edu/cyti.