the fifth sunday after epiphany
the PRAYER. . .
Lord God, with endless mercy you receive the prayers of all who call upon you. By your Spirit show us the things we ought to do, and give us the grace and power to do them, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING. . .
[Jesus said:] “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.”
the DEVOTION. . .
Maybe it’s because I’m married to a nurse … or because I’m in the process of signing up for Medicare … whatever the reason, the word ‘salt’ conjures up a whole plethora of health concerns … high blood pressure … stroke … osteoporosis … stomach cancer … And those are just a few! Salt’s necessary for life; but you can definitely get too much of a good thing!
And this week, I got to wondering if that wasn’t true for religion, as well. Obviously, religion’s important. Even essential. Just like salt! We can’t live without it! But can we get too much? Go too far? Might people like the scribes and the Pharisees be suffering from a form of ‘salt’ poisoning? Too much being just as lethal as none at all! Obsessed. Fixated. Living by chapter and verse. Expecting others to do the same.
Jesus, probably, doesn’t have all that in mind when he says what he does. But this week, he does get me thinking … As people of god – as the church – are we like the Pharisees living only to believe … or do we believe so we can live …