‘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.’
This week we’ve had elections in many parts of the UK and my thoughts have been turning to politics and especially the rise of UKIP. Taking a quarter of the vote they’ve certainly given politics a shake-up and we’ve seen that already, with other parties, particularly the Conservatives, addressing certain issues immediately. Yet for all this, apart from grass roots representation, MEPs etc, UKIP doesn’t have one single Westminster MP. You could say they have no power but at this moment in time have tremendous influence.
It reminded me of the SDP back in the early 80’s, how the so-called ‘gang of Four’ broke from the Labour party over a number of issues, one of the main ones being that at local level the party was being infiltrated by left-wing extremists whose brand of politics was far removed from what the average, ordinary party voter believed. The SDP only lasted a few short years and they never had any power, but again their influence was amazing. We only need to look at the recent history of the Liberal Democrats and New Labour to see how they totally changed the face of British politics.
Likewise, if you’re a Christian you may never have power. But you can always have influence. Salt is an ordinary thing, it doesn’t have the power of gold or diamonds. But it influences. It influences food when it’s added even in small measures. And that’s what Jesus is saying in Matthew 5. The believer is called to be salt. It’s a calling, a challenge, a responsibility. But it’s also something to be taken seriously. Being a Christian is not a game, something we play at on a Sunday morning, it’s a 24/7 life we live.