This recent cold weather brought snow to our area. The Virginia and upper east Tennessee areas of our conference received more snow than the rest. My neighborhood had just enough snow mixed with the cold to make travel hazardous. For my family's safety, I got some salt to spread spread on my driveway and sidewalk.
While I was spreading the salt on the icy pavement, my mind went to Matthew 5:13: “You are the salt of the earth.” Now I realize Jesus was speaking of how a relationship with God gives Christians the seasoning and flavor to influence other people. But at that moment in my driveway, I thought of how the salt, over time, causes ice to melt. It may take a while, but eventually the salt erodes the slippery, hazardous surfaces.
Many of us have had life experiences that cause us to become cold and dangerous – like ice. For example, some people didn’t receive the love and affirmation they needed in childhood. Others became bitter over a failed marriage. Some believe they were overlooked by the high school football coach. Perhaps their friends never expressed enough appreciation or their church failed to offer enough nurturing. The current economy has also caused many to lose their jobs, leaving them with deep resentment and bitterness.
I see this happening to people both inside and outside the church. It is my prayer that as we begin this new year, the laity and clergy of the Holston Annual Conference will become the salt for all those who have become too hard, crusty, and dangerous. Remember Jesus declared you and I are the salt. Jesus affirmed that you and I are the persons with the abilities to help those around us.
This year, as we continue our mission to “Offer Them Christ,” our denomination has presented Four Areas of Ministry Focus to help us strengthen our ability to “be the salt.” They are:
- Global Health
My columns will feature these four target areas. Meanwhile, let’s join together and be what Jesus has called us to be: a people who are the “salt of the earth." It may take some time for the salt to work, but just watch what happens when it does.