I love caramel. It actually reminds me of my mom. As a child, I knew that her favorite candy treat was the caramels from Fannie May. When I could, I liked to buy those for her because I knew they’d make her smile. Today I like it in many ways: a caramel cashew sundae from Culver’s; in a Milky Way; a plain ole square of Brach’s; caramel corn, just to name a few!
I recently purchased some sea salt caramels from my son’s track fundraiser. I chose that because of the “caramel” in the name, but it was the “salt” that intrigued me. I immediately opened the box when it arrived and picked one up. They were large enough to get four bites out of it. The caramel was soft and chewy and the milk chocolate was creamy…but the salt made my tongue water! It was delicious! It seemed the perfect combination and I marveled at why I had never experienced this before! I don’t know that I’ll have a plain caramel ever again (or not for a while anyway, haha!). I won’t tell you how quickly that box disappeared and how much time I’ve spent searching for more. But I’m sure you can take a guess!
This past week the elementary FaithWorks! kids talked about all the things they put salt on. The list included mashed potatoes, french fries, popcorn, corn on the cob, and even watermelon. Everyone agreed that salt made these things taste yummier! Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth” (italics mine) and went on to say that it’s not a good thing if you lose your “saltiness.” Well, what does that mean? What is saltiness and how can you be salty?
Basically I think Jesus was saying let’s be so filled up by God that we can flavor His world. When we are listening for God regularly, when we are sharing with Him regularly, when we are trying to understand His Word spoken to us in the Scriptures, when we are living the God-in-charge-kind-of-life, we are salty. When we place God first in our lives, we are salty. When we share His love in this world we are being the salt of the earth.
Staying salty is intentional. We can talk about it on Sundays in FaithWorks!, but I’m counting on you, parents, to help your children practice it at home in their everyday life. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
We have an AMAZING team of leaders in FaithWorks! and your children are spending their Sunday mornings talking with salty people. But it’s when they get home that this living in faith every day stuff becomes real.
This week, make a list with your family of all the things you like to put salt on! (Kids can come up with some crazy ideas!)
This week, make a list with your family of all the ways someone can BE salty! (Maybe you’ll even be challenged! I know these kids challenge me every week!)
This week, encourage your child to try one of the items you wrote on the list! (I love hearing the sweet, young voices praying out loud for their moms and dads, their dogs, their friends, their sporting event coming up. I love to hear them try to pronounce words in the Bible that no one seems to be able to pronounce. I love to hear their questions about God. Go for it!)
This week, post a reply to this blog as to what that looks like for your family and how it’s going! (I love hearing what you and your kids are up to AND you can encourage other readers!)
And then go flavor the world!
Because this week, your child’s small group leader is going to ask: “How were you salty this week?” How do you think they’ll answer?