Mark 9. 42-50
50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Do you know that there are 14,000 different ways of using salt?
We only use 6% of salt in our food, so what is the other 94% used for?
I wonder if you can guess what products that use salt in its production?
I think you will be surprised.
For more information, look at this website:
Salt has been used for a very long time.
Salt was used in the Old Testament – Lev 2:13 “Season all your grain offerings with salt”, Eze 43:24 “You are to offer them before the Lord, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them”.
When a sacrifice was made, it was sprinkled with salt. Salt made it acceptable to God, as it was a purifying agent. Anything dead was unclean according to Jewish law but by sprinkling it with salt it made it clean again for God.
Salt was valuable, so valuable that the Roman soldiers were paid in it. This is where the word ‘salary’ came from. The salt was equal to gold in value. The soldiers and others traded with it.
Of course there were no freezers or fridges in those days. So, salt was used to preserve meat, added to water it made a brine which soaked right into the meat keeping it edible for a long time.
Salt was also used to heal; it was placed on wounds (I bet it really stung) it was used like an antiseptic.
Salt was also used to make food taste better as well.
So, salt was valuable, it healed, and flavoured food.
Jesus tells us in verse 50 that “salt is good” but in Jesus’ time it wasn’t as pure as it is today often it was tainted with other minerals. After a short time, it lost it saltiness. “but if it loses it saltiness, how can you make it salty again?” The answer is you can’t it becomes un-usable.
Like salt we are called to bring flavour other people’s lives by our faith.
Like salt we are called to let our faith reach right inside us to permeate every bit of our being.
Like salt we are also very valuable to God.
And finally like salt we are called to help heal others, not like a doctor heals but by listening, and pointing them to Jesus.
We are good like salt but if we lose our saltiness we become unable to share our faith, and therefore can’t pass it on to others.
This is an interesting one for children, as these days’ salt is cheap and we are told that too much salt is not good for us. Our bodies also need a certain amount of salt otherwise it effects the balance of our bodies.
If I was running a class on this theme, there is so much scope to help them remember this passage.
Trying salty and sweet food and guessing which is which?
Trying using porridge salty and sweet, popcorn salty and sweet. Salty toffee, would crisps taste the same without salt buy the salt and shake crisps and see, water (don’t get them to drink it – just put a finger in)
Have a quiz – to show which things use salt in the process.
For ideas this website is really useful. www.maldonsalt.co.uk/About-Salt-The-many-uses-of-Salt.html
Salt pictures are very pretty.
Or make salt dough models and cook them. (to harden them) the website above has the recipe for salt dough as well.