Submitted by: Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Lukes Lutheran Church
I think it's wonderful for us to have words of Jesus in our lives. His words have the power to give us the nourishment we need, strength, comfort, peace, and hope.
Jesus once said, "Everyone will be salted with fire." To be honest, I don't often think of these words, and their meaning is debated. I'd like to share here the way I personally understand these words.
To be salted with something means to spread something upon it, to add seasoning. For example, roadways in winter are salted to melt ice. When good things happen to me, I can say that my life has been salted with blessings, joy, and grace.
Now, Jesus says that every person will be salted with FIRE. What does Jesus mean that I will have fire spread into my life?
Fire is a frequent biblical image. I think of Moses and the "burning bush." I think of the people traveling through the desert guided by a pillar of fire. I think of the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came in wind and "tongues of fire." Theses fires are good and holy. I also think of the image of hell, the fires I want to avoid at all cost.
In ancient days fire was one of the four elements that made up existence, the others being earth, water, and air. Fire is the element that ushers in "change." Life is salted with change. Moses was changed and became one of the greatest leaders humanity has ever known. The people were changed from slaves in a foreign land to free people living in their homeland. The apostles were changed by the Holy Spirit, and were moved to igniting the masses to follow Jesus. Fire also burns away wickedness, and destroys what it evil.
Jesus came to bring divine fire, to see that we be salted with fire. So we live well when we're fired up about worship, Bible reading, service. The prophet Jeremiah said "The word of God is in my heart as a burning fire." Our lives are really HELPED when we're salted with the word of God -- a word which can free us and inspire us, a word which can purge sin away.
When my wife travels to spend a few days with family, she does something really wonderful before she leaves. She hides notes in various places around the house. When she's gone, I find the notes, and I'm touched by and reminded of her love for me. I'd like to suggest that you make a list for yourself of favorite "saying of Jesus" and "favorite Bible verses" and place them around your home. Put one in a drawer in the kitchen, another in the medicine cabinet, another at your nightstand, and so on. Salt your world with the word of God.
Jesus said that EVERYONE will be salted, so let's make sure it happens OFTEN in our lives. Our lives will change for the better if we're daily salted with the fire of God's Word.