“Tell me some things about salt.”

Hey Friends:

As 20 and 30 below windchills swirl outside, I’m still thinking about my experience yesterday leading the large group of elementary kids in the cheery basement of my home church.

I was tasked with teaching on Matthew 5:13-16 from the Sermon on the Mount.

With enthusiasm and warmth, I made lots of eye contact and said, “Let’s talk about salt! Tell me some things about salt!” Hands shot up across the room.

I knew the answers I was shooting for. (And you probably do as well.) Even if I didn’t hear it from my young crowd, I would make sure that we landed on “salt brings out flavor” and “salt is a preservative.” Those are lessons we’ve heard before and come easily.

In kid-friendly terms, I was prepared to teach:
“Like putting salt on a pretzel, following Jesus should make life more tasty and delicious.”
“Mary and Joseph didn’t have a refrigerator! Salt keeps food from going rotten.”

What did the kids say Sunday morning and how did I respond?
“Salt is white.”  “Excellent!”
“It’s small.”  “Yep!  A little bit of salt goes a long way.”
“It makes things taste better.”  “Yes!  We’re going to talk about that!”

Then came a couple answers I wasn’t ready for.
“Salt is bad for you.”  “Umm? Yeah, I guess. Eating too much salt is not a good thing.”
“It melts ice on the sidewalk”  “Wow!”

That third use of salt was a teaching point I had not considered. But as a student of improv and a speaker who loves audience interaction, I jumped on that idea!

“Yes, salt melts ice! There was salt on the sidewalk when you guys came into church today. Each of you can be like salt that melts the cold heart of anyone who feels a little grouchy.  Even someone who gets grouchy like me! Your smile. A little hug. Saying something nice. Making a funny face. Jesus wants you to do things that melt cold hearts!  Let’s say a neighbor or your mom or dad or grandparent or anyone is having a bad day. You can be salt! You can melt their grumbling or sadness!”

We went on to talk about how each of them can be the “light of the world.”  We even sang “This little light of mine…” It was kinda fun.

So here are my three takeaways for you:
1. Be salt.
2. Be light.
3. If it’s in you, volunteer in your church children’s program.

Oh yeah, stay warm.

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