Prepare: Bring a small, clear container of sea salt – even better if you can find something fancy!
The worship station will need a box of unsalted rice crackers, and a box of salted rice crackers (you can use whatever you like here, really, but rice crackers generally avoid most food allergies).
After a few guesses (right or wrong) confirm that it is salt, and ask if anyone would be willing to try some. Ask what it is like to have salt all by itself? Does it taste good?
Today, in the Gospel story, Jesus says some very strange things, and most of them are exaggerations to get our attention. Jesus wants us to think about who we are and what it means for us to be following him. One of the things he says is that we should be “Salted with fire.” I’m not sure that I like the sound of that! When I salt something, that means I sprinkle salt on it, I don’t think that I want to be sprinkled with fire. But, did you know that salting something has a different meaning? Salt was, and still is, used to keep food from going bad. People use salt to make sure that meat does not get moldy. Pickles are kept in a salty liquid called brine.
So we can hear the end of this story a couple different ways. Salt, in small amounts, can add flavor to the foods that we eat. In fact, most of the foods we like have at least some salt in them or on them to make them taste better. Salt is also necessary for baking things! Bread without salt is dry and crumbly, it just doesn’t work. So Jesus might be saying that we need to be flavored with fire – that we are made better when we deal with difficult things and learn from them.
Then there is salt used to keep food from spoiling. Jesus could also be saying that we should be salty so that we can survive the trials of life. We should be salty so that we can preserve the Good News of Jesus and have it ready to feed to anyone who needs to hear it!
Find a way to join in prayer – either a pop-corn prayer, or collect slips of paper with prayer requests, etc. Ask for prayers where about places and people that need a little, or a lot of salt. Things that need to be flavored with God’s love, or preserved from the destructive forces of this world.