My final exam for my first New Testament Class, in seminary, was to memorize Jesus’ longest sermon. Yes, Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 5 and part of six; look it up. It is long, it took Jesus the better part of three days to preach it. We get the cliff notes version of it. If there is any among you who haven’t read much of the Bible, this might be a good place to begin. Thankfully, it was on the first day of class that my professor, Rev. Dr. Kimberly Majeski, gave us the heads up. That very day, I downloaded the audio version of Matthew five and six. It is all I listened to while I was in the car, for three and a half months. It really was life altering.
One of my favorite parts of my seminary experience was the day, I took my final exam in this class. Imagine thirty people, typing away, thinking the same thoughts, writing the same words that Jesus spoke on that mountainside overlooking the sea, to a crowd of misfits. It really was kind of a Pentecostal moment. The room was filled with electricity, maybe it was stress and perspiration, but I like to think of it as the Holy Spirit. It was good.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. Matthew 5:13
Friday morning, I had the pleasure of listening to Jason Seaman tell his faith story. No, we did not hear details about the event that propelled him into hero-hood, although it was mentioned. Actually, that was probably why he was invited to speak at the Hamilton County Prayer Breakfast. What we got instead was the humble story of a man who has great faith listening to what God wants him to do with his life. He does not want the whole of his life to be remembered for a mere 30 seconds of action he took against a young man with a gun. Jason knows he has been given the gift of encouragement, and of teaching and coaching, not just young people, but everyone. He is embracing his saltiness. He has a gift, and God is helping him use it for the benefit of his marriage, his relationship with his children, students, friends, and the whole community. Because of his humility, and his servant attitude, the world is a better place.
It got me to thinking, if we all shared our story, walked humbly, served one another, our saltiness could change the world, our marriage, and our relationships. It occurs to me that saltiness is salvation. The reason why Jesus used salt as an illustration was not that it just made food taste better, it preserved food. In a time when there were no refrigerators, deep freezers, ice machines, salt was used to save food. People were paid in salt, it was so valuable. You are the salt of the world. Now go out and be salty for the sake of the world.
Thank you Jason Seaman, for sharing your salt and being a light in our community for the sake of the world.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
Noblesville’s Teri Ditslear is a pastor whose column appears Saturdays in The Times. Contact her at pastor@rolcommunity.com, on Facebook or at www.rolcommunity.com