By Patti C. Christopher
Since the beginning of my experience in Christian Science, I have read in Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth….” Recently, while reading the gospel of Mark, I encountered the concept of being salted or having salt within us (Mark 9: 49 For everyone shall be salted with fire…. Mark 9: 50 …Have salt in yourselves and have peace one with another.)
Being too embarrassed to admit that I did not understand the phrase, or ever ask a Bible scholar what it means, I have wondered for years what being “salt” or “salted” meant. So I asked God recently, and this is what He said: “To be salted is to be filled with all goodness, purity, and Love, and to live this way eternally.”
Over the years I have learned that salt has 4 uses:
- it gives flavor (goodness, Love)
- it cleans (purity)
- it preserves (eternal life)
- it was used as payment (worthiness)
These are all qualities of our original status when God created us as ideas made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26, 27). For one to be the image of God, good, one must have goodness inherent in him. Since there is no evil in God, good, one must be pure as His image and likeness. God is eternal, so His ideas must be eternal as well. Mrs. Eddy says, “…man is immortal and lives by divine authority.” (SH 76:20) The divine authority of God gave man dominion, which speaks to our worthiness.
But what does it mean to be “salted with fire” (Mark 9:49)? To this God answered, “To be salted with fire is to be brought to that point where your light shines brightly.” This reply brought forth a memory from my childhood. As a kid sitting in front of our fireplace, I loved when dad put a piece of driftwood on the fire because it burned with beautiful colors of turquoise, purple, and green. Also, the fire glowed brighter if salt itself was thrown on the fire.
From this I perceive that, if we are salted with fire and are the salt of the earth, then we are to bring goodness, Love, peace, and purity into every aspect of our lives, and to burn so brightly with our salted-ness that we become a beacon of the Christ for all mankind to see.