Salt of the Earth

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What do pretzels, French fries, and the ocean all have in common? Salt.
What is salt?

Salt is a natural mineral made up of sodium and chlorine. When these elements come together, they form the tiny cube-shaped crystals that make pretzels taste so yummy.

Salt can be found underground and on the earth’s surface. But the biggest source of salt is the ocean. In Thailand, sea water is allowed to flood “salt fields.” The water then evaporates into the air, leaving behind the salt that was in in the water.

Did You Know?

People and animals need salt. But having too much salt or not enough can cause problems.

Animals get most of the salt they need from what they eat. If they need more, they will look for another source. That could be a natural salt lick in rock or the salt that is spread on roads to melt ice. A man in British Columbia, Canada, once found a moose in his garage licking the road salt off his car!

Like people, most animals can’t drink sea water without getting sick. It is just too salty. But God gave some birds the special ability to drink salty sea water without getting sick. These birds, such as penguins, albatrosses, gulls, and pelicans, spend most of their lives near the ocean. When they drink sea water, the salt gets absorbed into their blood and moves to special salt glands over their eyes. The extra salt then leaves the body through the bird’s nostrils.

The Salt of the Earth

In Matthew 5:13, Jesus calls his followers the “salt of the earth.” That’s because in Jesus’ time, like today, salt had two very important uses: flavoring food to make it taste better and making food last longer before it spoils.

Followers of Jesus act like salt: seasoning the world with goodness and love just as a sprinkle of salt gives flavor to food and makes it taste good. It’s the job of Christians all over the world to spread the good news of Jesus. God’s love should overflow from us into all those around us, whether they are believers or not. It is a big world, but a little salt can go a long way.

So the next time you reach for the salt shaker, remember that as a follower of Jesus you are the salt of the earth.

About the Author

Rachel Lancashire is a freelance writer with an educational background in wildlife. She grew up in the Christian Reformed Church and currently attends Gilmour Memorial Baptist Church in Selwyn, Ont.

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