I remember days of college apartment life and that time the taco shells we were heating fell into the bottom of the oven. We all realized there was a small taco fire happening. No one panicked, but each of us had a different idea of what to do. One roommate went for the fire extinguisher, I ran to the faucet for water, but before either of us had a chance to do much of anything, another roommate had cracked open the salt and threw it on the fire. I remember thinking has she lost her mind? It was exactly the right thing to do. I just didn’t know it. For everyone nodding your head with a sense of pride in knowing that, please remember someone may be reading this who may be discovering this for the first time. After the fire and a low carb dinner, my roommates and I gathered for a pop-up course on How to Put out Fires Safely 101. We all had facts we could contribute such as what not to put on fires and more, and you can Google all that. What really was impressive to me was the power of that salt. Yes, you can use baking soda, but not everyone keeps that close by, while almost all of us have salt on hand. Bottom line is that salt absorbs the heat remarkably well.
This story came back to me as I see all the fires that have been burning recently. My heart breaks and I want to reach for the salt. We are celebrating the season of Pentecost, the arrival of the Holy Spirit coming like fire not to burn anyone, but to ignite a deep devotion for God, a love that won’t flicker or fade, and a passion to share that love with others. Jesus said “You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth.” I find that an especially compelling description of the kind of followers we are to be. Light so that we light up the darkness around us, and salt so we add the right flavor to the lives of others. We have the profound ability to shine the light of Christ and to pour the love of God out into the world. There are all kinds of fires to fight, and with God’s help we will meet them well with salt and light and holy fire bringing the wisdom, counsel, and consolation of the Holy Spirit. Then surely the presence of the Lord will be felt.
May the power of your love, Lord Christ,
fiery and sweet as honey,
so absorb our hearts
as to withdraw them from all that is under heaven.
Grant that we may be ready
to die for love of your love,
as you died for love of our love. Amen