Salt

Food Doesn’t Taste Right Without Lots of Salt, Pepper and Butter

Ed, my neighbor next door, has had to go on some high blood pressure medicine. He is one to salt, to pepper and to butter his food generously. Ed claims that food is tasteless without these big three seasonings. Likewise, there should be no substitutes or imitations for the big three. Margarine makes Ed sneer in disgust. He scoffs when I tell him that butter may be better than margarine, but it is too expensive for some of us. I call it the food, of the rich and the French chefs.

Along with his high blood pressure medicine, Ed is being restricted to a low salt diet. He has decided that easing up on his salt intake will mean that, he will have to compensate with the use of more black pepper and butter. I have suggested he might want to try mustard, catsup, horseradish sauce, lemon juice, or vinegar to spice up his food. Ed said that he wouldn’t even consider them.

Nothing is more disappointing than bland or tasteless food. It seems to be an unwritten rule that our food needs to taste the way we like it to taste. We tend to be pretty fussy about how hot our soup is or our cup of coffee. What is just sweet enough, for one person is mighty sour to another person. We season our food to suite our tastes.

Many Christians act as if they will decide if they will be salt in the world. Jesus doesn’t call Christians to be salt if they feel like it. Jesus said to his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth.” Today we may not be overly impressed with table salt for it is common and not highly treasured. Salt in the ancient, world was a precious commodity. The Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites and the Egyptians all prized salt. It was an important article of trade and was transported by boat across the Mediterranean Sea, along specially built salt roads, and across the Sahara in camel caravans. Salt was scarce, highly valuable, and universally used for seasoning, and preserving food, and for cleansing and healing.

Salt water was important in drawing infection from wounds in the ancient world. Salt water was used widely, for cleansing, and promoting healing. Salt was a major seasoning for bringing out the flavors of food. Most important of all, it was a vital way of preserving meat and fish, in a time, of no refrigeration. Roman soldiers received their wages in salt. The Greek considered salt to be divine. The Mosaic Law in Leviticus 2:13 required that all offerings presented by the Israelites contain salt.

Jesus came to be pure salt in our world to cleanse and purify all people from sin by completing the law perfectly for us. He seasoned the world with the undeserved love of God full of mercy and justice. He died in the punishment of sin, as a sacrifice or substitute for us, to satisfy the justice of God. Jesus did not come to abolish the law but fulfill it. He cleansed, seasoned, and preserved us before God. Are we, as Christians, real salt in the world or a salt substitute?

 

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Raymond Maher
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