NORMAN — Water and salt are essential to life. Our bodies must have both in order to be healthy. Every day we hydrate ourselves with water so that we can enjoy good health. Every day we receive some salt intake so that our metabolism can function properly.
Jesus understands this. He shares our flesh and blood, since he is both God and man. He drank water from a well and ate salt in his food, just like us.
In the Gospel lesson this weekend from Mark 9:41,49,50 he says “For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward…. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
In order to grasp what Jesus is saying here, it is essential to understand an important reality. Jesus is the head of the church, which is his body. When a person is baptized with water in the name of the Triune God, by faith in Jesus Christ crucified, risen, ascended and returning in glory, that person is incorporated into the body of Christ.
As a result, Jesus is closely connected to the members of his church, his body. When a cup of cold water is given to one of his believers, it is as if it was given personally to Jesus himself. Such is the love of God to be united to his children.
Also as a result, Jesus recognizes that believers in him are called to a life different from the unbelieving world. When Christians are like salt in the world, it means that when there is hate, they bring love. When there is discord, they bring peace. When there is anger, they bring kindness.
Spiritual water is described in Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” Jesus Christ gives us that water of life which means the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Spiritual salt is described in Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Jesus Christ gives us the salt of gracious words which means speaking of God’s love in a broken world.
Water and salt also are essential to our spiritual lives. Our souls must have both in order to be healthy. Every day we hydrate ourselves with spiritual water so that we can enjoy spiritual health. Every day we receive spiritual salt intake so that our souls can function properly.
God’s water and God’s salt are essential to our lives every day.