DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: Season the world with kindness

“You are the salt of the earth. But, if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again?” (Matthew 5:13).

Rev. Roger Grafenstein
Contributed / Roger Grafenstein

When our kids were young, a doctor friend and his family took our family out to what was known at the time to be the best sushi restaurant in the Twin Cities. I recall the sushi was fantastic; however, I am far from an expert.

In fact, that night, not seeing ginger on the table, I made an error in judgment. I saw an elegantly plated dish of green and thought, “ginger-ale bottles are green. Maybe this is a tasty ginger recipe.” It was not. The premium wasabi entered my digestive system like a steam locomotive on fire, creating its own track from tongue to stomach.

Our friend was a doctor who completed his residency at Mayo in Rochester. He did all he could for me. He winced, gave a long “Ooo,” then said, “that has to burn.”

When we were back home that evening, still feeling the burn, I sat upright in the recliner for the night and began googling to learn everything I could about the green enemy that had assaulted me. Turns out wasabi is often an ingredient in marine paints; it helps keep barnacles and mussels from growing on boat hulls.

Everything has a purpose. It’s such a relief to have a barnacle-free esophagus – surely that good news was the reason for my watery eyes earlier.


Jesus reminds us we have our purpose. “You are the salt of the earth. But, if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again?” (Matthew 5:13).

In Jesus’ day, salt was a life-saver. It kept foods of all sorts from spoiling – especially vital during lean times and while traveling. In other words, salt was a vital ingredient in maintaining health and providing food for the hungry.

In the northland, we use salt (and now salt substitutes) to help keep each other from falling on our daily walks in winter. We’ve salt blocks for cattle and livestock because a proper balance of sodium is needed for blood volume and a regular heartbeat.

As Jesus’ followers, as the body of Christ, we are called to preserve hope, faith and love in this world. We are called to nourish the hungry – especially those who are going through lean times. We are called to steady others on their walks through life. We are called to tend to matters of the heart with compassion, empathy, and kindness.

Who has been spiritual salt or a life-saver for you? Where are you being called to sprinkle the type of life-giving salt Jesus speaks of? Today, ask Christ to show you a way you can “season the world with kindness.”

Rev. Roger Grafenstein serves as pastor of Riverside United Methodist Church.
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