Summary: An interactive sermon for kids exploring why Jesus says we are the ’salt of the earth.’
INTRODUCTION/ACTIVITY… Taste of Seasonings
[Have small bowls for each group or an assembly line of different seasonings for the kids to taste and try. See if they can identify which seasoning is which.]
Today we will be taking a look at a passage from Matthew 5, but before we get there, I want us to take some time and test out some of these seasonings. You have the sheets in front of you. They are numbered 1-7. I want you to take those and come over to the table and see if you can discover what each of these seasonings are: first just by looking at them, then by smelling them, then by tasting them. Try each of these methods to see if you can identify the seasoning… these are not hard seasonings, but some you probably have tasted at home. The names are given on the sheet for you to match.
[Activity – 10 minutes or so]
Now that you have matched what you think the spices are… here are the answers! Now, as I reveal the answer, I am also going to tell you a little about each spice and how it benefits the human body. Here come the seasonings: (information from www.whfoods.com)
1 Black Pepper = Black pepper comes from a vine which can grow up to 33 feet in the right weather and comes from India and Asia. Pepper is actually berries that are picked about nine months after flowering and then they are ground up. Pepper is a spice that helps the stomach digest food and helps cut down on gas after eating. So basically, if you eat pepper, your stomach will feel better and you’ll toot less.
2 Cinnamon = Cinnamon has a long history as both a spice and as a medicine. It is the brown bark of the cinnamon tree, which is available in dried tubes or as a powder. Cinnamon basically helps the body in the area of the blood. Cinnamon helps your blood to flow properly and can help keep your blood sugar at the right levels.
3 Sage = Sage is native to countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and has been used in these areas for many years. Doctors for thousands of years have used sage as a medicine. Sage helps relieve the pain of arthritis in joints and legs and hands and it even has been said to help with memory and help your brain function better.
4 Ginger = Ginger is another spice that has been around for a long time. Today, the top countries that make and sell ginger include Jamaica, India, Fiji, Indonesia and Australia. Ginger can help your stomach when it comes to motion sickness. Ginger has also been noticed to help pregnant ladies when they are throwing up and not feeling well… it helps their stomachs settle down.
5 Thyme = Thyme has been used since ancient times in cooking, by doctors, and in religious rituals because of the way it smells. Even the ancient Egyptians used it as an embalming agent to preserve their deceased pharaohs. Thyme has a long history of use in natural medicine in connection with chest and respiratory problems including coughs, bronchitis, and chest congestion.
6 Garlic Powder = Native to central Asia, garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world and has been grown for over 5000 years. Ancient Egyptians seem to have been the first to grow and sell this plant. Whole books have been written about garlic and how it helps a person’s heart, cholesterol, protect against skin cancer, helps keep viruses away, and tons of other things… very useful spice!
Now, I was using a healthy eating website to look up information about all these spices and when I got to the last one… they didn’t even have anything on it! I think this means that this spice is on the bad list… but it is the seasoning we want to talk about today!
7 Salt = Salt’s ability to preserve food was a foundation for many people in their lives. Salt meant you could kill an animal for food and save some for later… there were no refrigerators or freezers! Salt also allowed a person to travel over long distances with food. It was also a desirable food seasoning. However, salt was difficult to get, and so it was a highly valued. Salt came from either sea water or mined from rocks. So, salt was important to #1 preserve food and #2 as a seasoning.
I. THE SCRIPTURE: MATTHEW 5:13
Jesus uses ‘salt’ as an example when He was teaching His disciples. Matthew 5:13 says, “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 by men.” (NIV) Another translation (AMP) of the Bible puts it this way, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.” I want to look at one more version (MSG): “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”