Would you like some fries with that salt?


May 3, 2014

Matthew 5:13

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.


Something about salt. . . . I love to salt every chip at the Mexican Restaurant. The salt acts as a kind of catalyst, an activator at work between and among the chip and the queso and the salsa. Not only does it bring out the flavor of each member of this magnificent trifecta of Hispanic delight, but it effects an explosion of taste among them that none of the ingredients, either alone or together, can produce. We might even say the salt activates a type of trinitarian unity among them.

When I’m at Five Guys , I love to salt every bite of the burger. I don’t care that I have to deal with the cumbersome little salt packages. Something about a tiny bit of salt calls out the deepest flavors in food. Then there’s the famed McDonalds’s fries. You know it’s not the fries don’t you? Those are just ordinary potatoes thinly sliced. It’s the salt! Watch as the fry chef dumps the basket of deep fried goodness into the fry trough behind the counter. What happens next? The fry-meister takes that large container of finely granulated salt and artistically sifts it  over the fresh batch of glistening glory. If only we could see into the unseen spirit realm of the world of the french fry– might there be a burst of unapproachable light flashing as the salty savor descends upon the ordinary spuds? Might this even be akin to the spontaneous ignition of the fiery tongues of Pentecost as the savor of the Holy Spirit descended on the ordinary humanity of the Apostles?

I know. I’m getting carried away. But isn’t that the point?! Most of the time when someone is referred to as a “salt of the earth” kind of person, it means they are a hard working, generally rural, upstanding citizen. Though there’s nothing wrong with that, don’t you think it misses the point of what Jesus is saying here?

I like the way Wesley speaks of this metaphor of salt in the following excerpt: 

“It is your very nature to season whatever is round about you. It is the nature of the divine savor which is in you, to spread to whatsoever you touch; to infuse itself, on every side, to all those among whom you are. This is the great reason why the providence of God has so mingled you together with other men, that whatever grace you have received of God may through you be communicated to others; that every holy temper, and word, and work of yours, may have an influence on them also.

Would somebody pass the salt?

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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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