Sunday, November 20, 2005

The salt of our inner purification

Good morning J-Landers!

Though it's technically still Sunday, I'm trying to get a head-start on the week. Today's reflection comes from Leviticus:

Leviticus, 2: 13

However, every cereal offering that you present to the Lord shall be seasoned with salt. Do not let the salt of the covenant of your God be lacking from your cereal offering. On every offering you shall offer salt.

It seems simple, doesn't it, this basic requirement for a cereal offering to God? After a good bit of reflection, this passage appears much more complex than I originally thought. Some context:

Salt was a precious and valuable commodity in the ancient world, not just for its ability as a seasoning, but because you could cure and preserve food with it if applied properly. Roman soldiers received salt as a form of payment at one time, hence the common phrase of whether or not you're worth your salt. More importantly, to share your salt with someone while at table was a sign of friendship, sincerity, and a bond of fellowship.

The Jews in this passage are being called to always renew that bond, to honor that friendship and live out their relationship with God every time they make a bread offering. Their external behavior is to be a reflection of the purity in their hearts and souls.

That message bears repeating - our external behavior is a reflection of our hearts and souls.

It has been a rough few months for many of us, not just in J-Land, but in the 'real' world as well, and I've discovered that my life is most disordered, most complex, most troublesome when my insides are jumbled and I stray from what I know to be right and true.

Is it the same for you?

I do not believe we need be Jewish, or Christian, or Muslim, or of any faith to take time and examine our moral compass - is it pointing north? Is it pointing toward truth, light, and justice? Is it pointing to selfishness, lies, and deceit? Where are you gonig on the inside? If you are pure, if you have salted yourself for the long journey of life, than there is no doubt that your exterior will reflect the grace within.

And that, I think, is a good way to start a Monday.