Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sun. Feb. 6, 2011 (Paul Thiessen)

Paul Thiessen spoke on the day's gospel reading, Matthew 5.13-20, "You are the salt of the earth." Even though many of us worry about consuming too much of the stuff, salt is essential to our health. Salt was so vital to ancient civilizations that it was often used as currency, included with food offerings to God, or even associated with covenants (called "salt covenants"). For centuries, drying and salting were the only known ways to preserve food. Right after giving the beatitudes, Jesus asked that we be the 'salt of the earth', that we be the ones to enact the beatitudes, fighting against the decay in society by being peacemakers and the children of God. Countless individuals have shown how we can, in small ways, be the 'salt of the earth'. Villagers in France quietly hid Jewish refugees and helped them to escape to Switzerland, nothing earth-shaking as far as the war was concerned, but they were simply being 'the salt of the earth'. Those who persuaded victorious Allied soldiers not to slaughter German prisoners of war were also enacting the beatitudes. The book, "I shall not hate", exemplifies how one man's peaceful stance and spirit of forgiveness, even when three of his daughters were killed by Israel's missiles, momentarily changed the thinking of thousands. Peterson paraphrased the gospel reading nicely: "You are to be the salt seasoning which brings out the God flavours." [JEK] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, February 6th, 2011 using your browser's preferred media player.



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