Summary: An unusual application of Matthew 5:13 to the Christmas season

Sunday, November 30, 2003


Matthew 5: 13-16

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Thanksgiving is over. By now, you have either eaten all the leftovers or thrown it away. Whatever the case, Thanksgiving 2003 is now only a memory.

As for me, it was a wonderful time, probably one of the best. It started out with Bible Study here at the church with some special people Wednesday night and ended up Thursday night without even getting indigestion.

Now, we look forward to Christmas, the biggest holiday of the year. According to the latest economic figures as reported on Good Morning America, people in the US will spend an average of $750 per household on Christmas presents.

Across the nation, pastors will begin their annual round of Christmas sermon series. That is what happens this time of the year. For the next four weeks, churchgoers will hear talks, lectures and sermons about the different aspects of the Christmas Spirit. You might even hear a couple right here, but not today.

Today, I want to talk with you about Jesus’ words in Matthew 5. He talks of salt and light. He says that we are the “salt of the earth,” but that we can lose our savor.

In most cases, we consider the word ‘savor’ as meaning taste. We talk about savory foods and of savoring the taste of something. When we consider the thought of salt losing its savor, we would think of salt losing its saltiness.

Looking at the translation given in the King James, savor can also mean strength.

So, how does salt lose its savor? First, we must look at a little history about salt of the New Testament times. It was a very impure form of salt. Most of the salt today comes from salt deposits deep under the earth. It comes out in such a pure form that it rarely needs any purification. The salt of Jesus’ time came from surface salt pits near Jerusalem and contained a lot of impurities.

Often, if that salt was kept too long, the salt itself would leech out, leaving only the impurities behind. Then, it had to be thrown out because it had lost its saltiness.

Pure salt is strong, but it can be weakened by addition of other things. Add water,

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