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Pass the Salt, Please
My initial problem preaching this text was deciding if it should be four sermons or one. I decided that, although there would be benefit in taking a closer look at each of the topics raised individually, looking at them all together would make better sense of Jesus’ final words in this context. Jesus said, “Salt is good. . . . Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another” (Mark 9:50).
I don’t normally use acrostics in my preaching but thought it might be a useful way to pull everything together in the text. At lunch there was a family from church eating in a booth not far away from my party. One of the teenage boys came over to talk with us. They had tried to remember the four points of the acrostic but had missed the “A”. If two teenage boys could remember 3 of the 4 I consider that sermon a success!
For those who are wondering the acrostic is for the word SALT:
Serve (even those considered least – Mark 9:33-37)
Accept (Christians who are different than you [or don’t be judgmental] – Mark 9:38-41)
Love (the weak and new believers – Mark 9:42)
No one who heard the sermon will forget the “T” since it doesn’t really fit. Odd isn’t’ it, that when something seems like it doesn’t really belong it is never forgotten. Come to think of it . . . that’s exactly what it means for us to be salt. We stand out because we don’t really fit in this world as it is. But I love the last verse and how it envisions the kingdom that will soon cover the earth, “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” The peaceable kingdom – that’s where we all belong!