By CLIVE BUTCHER
Tuesday 28 July 2020
' 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 underfoot.'
SALT PONDS OF MARAS IN PERU
I must confess that when I have read these lines and listened to a sermon based on them that my mind has always been distracted by the question ' How can salt loose its saltiness ?'. Salt is salt , a relatively simple chemical formula , if I leave it in a cupboard for any length of time it still appears to be salt .
An (admittedly superficial ) online search provided some answers , salt was used and discarded in ovens in Palestine and some salt contained impurities with true salt leeching out over time. However other instances of the use of salt seemed relevant to me . Last year we were privileged to travel to Maras in Peru where a stream rich in salt from a prehistoric ocean is fed into clay bordered pools to evaporate and produce salt . The individual pools are restricted to local inhabitants and provide a means of livelihood.
In contrast I was ashamed to read of the history of the 'Salt Tax' levied in India by the British creating a monopoly on the manufacture and sale of salt. This injustice led to protest in the form of a ' Salt March' by Mahatama Ghandhi in 1930.
Whatever the origin of the words of Jesus here his point is surely that we as Christians must make a difference in our relations with those about us otherwise we are as useless as unsalty salt !
Dear Lord . Help us to be the salt in our community , to make a difference . Extending your love and challenging injustice.
In your name.