You are the essential Ingredient
Matthew 5: 13
Bonnie A. Perry
February 9, 2014
Na CL—Sodium Chloride.
Salt: historically a substance so valuable that it served as a currency, influenced the establishment of trade routes, and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires and inspired revolutions—thus says historian Mark Kurlansky in his book Salt: A World History.
Salt. Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth."
Michael Ruhlman, a writer and Culinary Institute of America trained chef says, "Salt is a fundamental ingredient in understanding the history of civilization precisely because it enabled us to preserve food,
thousands of years before refrigeration and transportation made food so accessible. It allowed food to travel long distances... Salt was once more valuable than precious metals; men were paid with it. Salt: the only rock we eat." (Ruhleman's Twenty p 18.)
Ruhlman, in his really cool, technical yet accessible cookbook, Ruhleman's Twenty, offers 20 key techniques placed in his perceived order of importance to cooking. The second entry in the book, right after the piece entitled "Think," is the chapter called, "Salt: Your most important tool." For him, learning to salt food is the most important thing a cook can do. (P 18) "Working properly with salt is what makes a cook," says Ruhleman.
"You are the salt of the earth," says Jesus.
The heart healthy gang, over at the American Heart Association, might have wanted him to use a different image, but processed food, and resulting high blood pressure was much less of an issue in those days...
And as all the trendy Sea Salt websites will now tell you, there is a substantive difference between unrefined sea salt in its very many shapes, textures and colors and processed Iodine infused table salt.
But let's go back to what Jesus might have been thinking. Because even though he was the son of God he did not have access to, nor did he read the New England Journal of Medicine.
"You are the salt of the earth."
He says this in is his inaugural address. He has just finished calling his disciples. He has healed some people, and done a bit of road-side preaching. Now, after climbing the mountain, he sits down and he is
laying out his blueprint for our world to come.
Happy are, blessed are the people who are hopeless
because the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Blessed are people who grieve,
because they will be made glad.
Blessed are people who are humble
because they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are people who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
because they will be fed until they are full.
Blessed are people who show mercy,
because they will receive mercy.
Blessed are people who have pure hearts
because they will see God.
Blessed are people who make Peace
because they will be called God's children.
He lays out his view of how the world can now be and then he says, to everyone on that hill and to us, here and now.
Blessed are you. You are the salt of the earth. The essence, the rock, the mineral that matters more than most anything in this world of ours, you are the salt of the earth.
You are the essential ingredient to embody this hope.
You. You. You.
You are called, you matter, you are made in God's image and likeness. You, beautiful you. Your essence is ultimately what is needed to change this world. To no longer accept this world as it is. You, you you are needed.
Here is the point, hear the point:
God created you, you, you, look in the mirror you are needed to add flavor and hope to this soup of our world, this stew of creation.
Do you have any idea how essential and amazing you are? God does. Jesus calls us now, as we are, to be the key element and primary ingredient to bring hope to the world.
You are the Salt of the earth.
But if you, if we fail to recognize our essentialness, our primacy to God's hope for our world—then what?
Theologian Jurgen Moltman says that the death of the church and I would say of the world is when we succumb to cynicism. Our death, the death of our spirit, happens when we give into cynicism and just accept whatever is—regardless of the consequences.
We will have lost our saltiness, our amazingness when we say in word and deed, this is just the way things are so we might as well just get used to it.
The Beatitudes, call us to envision something more, to see something more, to long for something more, to work for something more.
This work and vision need not be anything more extraordinary and outrageous than realizing again this morning for the first time: That we are Salt of the Earth, we are the essential ingredient. Discovering, honing and using our unique gifts will enable us to be that mineral in the soup, the seasoning in the sauce that makes it sublime and transporting.
We are the Salt of the earth, the essential ingredient to move our families, our communities, our world to places of healing and hope.
You—you are the salt of the earth. The essential ingredient God needs to change it all.
Course Salt—less moisture sensitive, resists caking easily stored, best ground
Finishing salt—moist crystals or delicate flakes—strong crunch and burst of clean, mild, flavor
Fleur de Sel—Caviar of salts—young crystals form of the surface of salt evaporation ponds—weather must be just right to form—only once a year—in the summer
Himalayian pink,--"white gold" together with pure spring water this salt provides all the natural elements exactly identical to the elements in our bodies
Hawaiian sea salt –red clay gives the salt a more mellow earthy taste than regular Black Hawaiien sea salt—activated charcoal—salient flavor enhancing characteristics also helpful in detox diets—looks cool on the table too...
Grey salt—moist unrefined salt—Brittany region—velvet grain perfect for sprinkling over popcorn