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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

When Salt is Not Sodium Chloride

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus/Yeshua says to us, You are the salt of the earth...

Obviously he did not mean that literally. So as is said of late, let's unpack salt, open it up, consider it.

I ask my students to tell me what salt is. The usual answers include: a preservative, a seasoning, a mineral. 

I add that it also enhances flavor, it's used in sweet and savory foods to bring out the flavor. And that back 2,000 years ago it was precious. Roman soldiers were partially paid in sa!t. It was scarce and valuable.

Jesus called his followers salt. So let's add all we know about salt and apply to us, his followers.

We are to enhance everyone and every situation, be lifters. We are precious in God's Eyes, one of a kind masterpieces, and need to live as such and realize the truth of this for each and every person. We are valuable just as we are and as we strive to be, for we are all in process. We are to preserve the brilliant teachings and understandings presented to us without biases and distortions. We are to season our lives with Love, unconditional Love. We are to remember that our bodies are made of earth minerals and belong to earth, while our souls are of Spirit and belong to eternity.

Salt in this brief statement is more than salt. One question comes to mind, if Jesus is issuing the challenge to be full fledged salt, are we ready to accept His challenge and step up and be all that and more?

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Jesus Spoke to Me

As  I shared, I've been teaching the Sermon on the Mount from the point of view of it being Jesus' guidance to us for how he expects us to act to be his disciple.

This morning, during my prayer time I heard something new. A voice said:

It is more. I've thrown down the gauntlet. You say you want to follow me and be part of my kingdom. I challenge you to live what you call the Sermon on the Mount. I issue this challenge to you. Will you do it? I tell you, it is oh so simple, and yet it is not easy. Because of this, few have taken up the challenge I fling across all ages to all people. Few hear. Fewer still listen. A tiny fraction try, and less succeed. Yet this is an exceptionally crucial time. Listen with your deepest self and follow me.

 I was shaking. Had I heard right?  Jesus was challenging not only me but everyone who said they wanted to be his discipline, and maybe also those who never thought about following him.

Will we listen and act as asked?

Thursday, October 12, 2023

The Shelter Is My Teacher

For six weeks now, I've been leading a Bible Study at the emergency homeless shelter. We've been going through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus' teaching on how we should live as his followers. I didn't know what to expect when I told the director I would do it. 

What I have found are dear people, who, because of various life situations, have hit bottom. They are at first sort of shell-shocked. Then they are grateful for the faith-based group that is helping them. They find jobs sooner or later or leave the program because they aren't trying. Some come back weeks later, tired of living in their cars or on park benches, ready to try again.

They come open and wounded. They tell their stories. We apply the ideas in the Sermon on the Mount to their lives. And things happen. They start to heal. They begin to move forward.  They inspire me. And I know God has led me to this place and these people. It is a God thing for sure.