|Theme:||Jesus called us to be the salt of the earth. Epiphany 5-A|
|Object:||Several samples of food, one salted and another unsalted. (crackers and popcorn, for example)|
|Scripture:||"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless." Matthew 5:13 (NLT)|
Have you ever been in a grocery store when, as you did your shopping, they offered samples of different food items to try? They do this to entice you to buy those items. If the samples didn't taste good, you probably wouldn't buy any, would you? This morning we are going to do a taste test. You will taste two different samples of a food item, and you will tell which one you liked the best.
The first taste test is crackers. We have two saucers with one cracker on each saucer. One saucer is labeled "A" and the other "B". Johnny, taste a cracker from each saucer and tell me which one you liked best. (Hopefully, Johnny will pick the salted cracker!) The cracker that Johnny liked best is actually called a saltine. Why do you think it is called a saltine? You are right, it is because it has salt sprinkled on top. The other cracker doesn't have salt. Do you know what else it doesn't have? Taste! The cracker really needs the salt to give it a good flavor.
The second taste test we are going to do is popcorn. We have two small bowls of popcorn. The popcorn in one bowl has been salted and the other has not. Mary, come and taste the popcorn from each bowl and tell me which one you like best. (After she tastes it, ask Mary which one she liked best.) As you might guess, Mary liked the salted popcorn better than the unsalted. I agree with Mary. In my opinion, popcorn without salt is about as tasty as those Styrofoam peanuts they use to pack items when they ship them in a box.
I'm sure you all knew that many foods taste much better with a little salt. It doesn't take much. In fact, when you are cooking, a recipe often calls for "a pinch of salt." Not much, just a pinch, but that little pinch of salt makes a big difference in the flavor.
In our Bible lesson today, Jesus said to his disciples, "You are the salt of the earth." What do you think that means? I think Jesus means that he wants us to improve the quality of life of those we meet each day. How can we do that? We can do that by introducing them to Jesus and by showing them that having Jesus in our life is like having salt on our food. Everything is better when we have Jesus in our life.
There is a lot of hatred and bitterness in our world today. If you and I will show the love of Jesus in all that we do, we can be the salt of the earth like Jesus called us to be. Just a pinch of salt can do much to reduce bitterness and bring peace to our world.
Heavenly Father, our prayer is that we may be the salt of the earth by showing the love of Jesus in all that we do. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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