Based on Scripture, salt seasons and sweetens and preserves and keeps. Salt flavors food (Job 6:6) and prevents corruption (Leviticus 2:13, Ezekiel 43:24). Elisha once used salt to purify drinking water (2 Kings 2:19-23). Salt is no spice or mere flavoring but, in biblical wording, binds us together (Numbers 18:19), and speaks of hospitality, friendship, a promise of loyalty, and blessing. The Greek-language Old Testament of Jesus’ day referred to salt as a “basic need of human life” (Sirach 39:26).

God directed His priests in His earlier, older Covenant to “put salt on every grain offering.” God tapped into everyday life experiences when He instituted those sacrificial rites, using salt to testify to His Covenant’s enduring nature. Doesn’t this make sense since salt preserves food for another season? So, God referred to those sacrifices as “the salt of the covenant” (Leviticus 2:13). In His divine Covenant, His forgiveness and blessing upon His people will stand.

In 2 Chronicles, God made an everlasting covenant with David. God “gave the kingship over Israel forever to David… by a covenant.” How? Through salt (2 Chronicles 13:5). Scripture presents the dynasty of David’s noble lineage as unbreakable, enduring, and preserved by salt. By divine decree, David’s throne will endure into eternity.

Here and only one other place within 2 Chronicles does the Old Testament use the expression “kingdom of God” (28:5). Later, in prophecy’s fulfillment, God’s rule and reign came to earth in King David’s Descendant in a Covenant lasting forever. This reality glows as a bright filament coursing through the New Testament. Matthew’s Gospel genealogy identifies Jesus as the “son of David” (Matthew 1:1), who fulfills the promise of His royal line. The last book, Revelation, ends on a Davidic note, with Jesus identifying Himself as “the root and the offspring of David” (Revelation 22:16).

No coincidence brings Mary to deliver the foretold Messiah in Bethlehem, David’s hometown. A census from Caesar takes her to His birthplace, who comes to reign forever over His blessed kingdom. Heaven on earth in divine birth sparks joy beyond measure as the heavens rejoiced in acclamation. Angels sang, “Unto you is born this day is a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Shepherds, amazed by the glorious sight, hurry to meet their prophesied God in human flesh. Humanity beheld God’s face in the infant form of Mary’s Son.

Centuries earlier, David wept over his sins, wanting God to blot out his iniquities (Psalm 51:9). Unlike David, Jesus is sinless—yet He became sin for us to wipe away David’s every iniquity—and ours. To make this happen, Jesus went to the cross, offering Himself in death. Close to dying, He wheezes out one of David’s psalms, “My God, my God, why do You abandon me?” (Psalm 22:1). Salted in sacrifice for you, the greater David dies to give you life. Now, we are part of the gracious census in the holy land of heaven.

God creates and preserves through His Word. The earth-born and eternal Son is this Word and God’s creating command: Let there be… and light came into being. Let there be and believe! Every gift of God flows from His will and work, not ours. What God commands, He calls into existence, and what He expects, He gives. The almighty, righteous God demands perfect righteousness to be His child—and He supplies this to us in His Gospel. God directs us to trust in this promise and furnishes us such faith through His sin-forgiving, life-breathing Word.

Our cross-life begins from the splashing of grace in Baptism, the watered Word, uniting the sinner with the death of the crucified Christ (Romans 6: 5). Joined to Him, we live in this world as citizens of God’s Kingdom, waiting for Him to bring us to our true home in heaven. Baptized into Him, the grave holds no power over you.

Ponder the only Old Testament text using the word “remember” the way Jesus does, which He incorporated into His words instituting His Supper. “Put pure frankincense and salt on each row for the Bread [of the Presence], in a remembrance set before the Lord” (Leviticus 24:7, LXX). By divine command, the priests salted every sacrifice burned on the Bronze Altar, reminding Israel of His enduring Covenant with them. This memorializing and recalling helped highlight a lofty reality: God being present to forgive His people’s sins.

Later, when Jesus instituted His Meal, He used covenantal language: “the new covenant in my blood.” With God, His Covenants endure. So, how natural for the early Church to include salt in their celebration of Communion. “To share the salt” became a technical term for “celebrating the Lord’s Supper.” This expression testified to the Sacrament as fulfilling those Old-Covenant sacrifices.

After rising from death but before ascending, Acts 1:4 records our risen Lord “staying with” His disciples. Except the literal text reads, “sharing salt.” Awaiting the sending of the Holy Spirit, Jesus “shared salt” with them as a sign of His eternal Covenant. The heavenly High Priest joined with them in the Covenant, His sacred Meal, pledging His commitment to them.

Christ referred to His believers as “salt” for the earth (Matthew 5:13). What makes us this salt? Not whatever we have or conjure in ourselves. No, the sweet, restoring Word of the Gospel does this, delivering Jesus and His salvation. Yes, only He breaks the grip of sin’s unforgiving toll, whose grace intercedes, renewing our soul. Remember, our Redeemer is our true Salt, whom we serve as His sweetening and preserving agents.

The earth is sin-corrupted and needs “salting.” This demands that we mix with unbelievers. No scuttling off to the monastery. To huddle in our homes and safe spaces denies our Savior’s words in our text. To cloister ourselves from the rest of humanity is to refuse to be whom Jesus makes us, absent of the savor others need.

So as we traverse this bland and barren landscape, we cling to our Lord, who enriches our lives. Christ is our salt. The world isn’t, which needs what He alone can bring. Grace envelops and permeates us, transforming our spirits to spread His life-granting sweetness. Those savory salty grains, a fraction of an inch from food, are useless. So, too, for Christians who isolate themselves.

Our Lord’s words warn us to stand firm against trying to mold His Church into this sin-corrupted world and its ways. To blend in and be indistinguishable strips and robs you and me of our uniqueness, diminished as God’s holy ones. To cease living as Christ’s reflection to others is to become tasteless and trampled underfoot. Christians lose their identity as salt when they ignore the call to be sacred and set apart as the Lord’s distinct people. Our Christ-given saltiness preserves His teachings and proclaims their saving sweetness, savored and shared, never withheld.

Amid life’s troubles, we neither retreat from this corrupted world nor, in foolishness, embrace its ways. Our days here are fleeting, for we aren’t of, nor do we belong to, this fallen realm. No, we are citizens of heaven. Heaven-sent, we step out to face the day, tasked with serving in our God-given vocations as salt and light in a spiritually flavorless and bleak landscape. Baptized believers become vessels of God, anointed to help preserve and protect His children.

Learn to live out your faith in your niche and location. Embrace the savor of Christ as you develop bonds of love, born of divine connection in service to another. Be salt, not by your effort, clamoring, or this wayward world but from your Lord—His life-giving seasoning. Remember, salt doesn’t bring its essence to others by becoming more worldly or striving to fit in and conform.

In Christ, something unique, joyful, and wholesome abides in how we speak, live, and act. St. Paul instructs in his epistle: “Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so you may answer each person as you should” (Colossians 4:6). Earlier, he wrote, “Let the Word of Christ in its richness and wisdom dwell in you. Teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).

In His Son, God raises the flavor level of our human activities, transforming them into holy and noble works. Your saltiness makes you hopeful and joyful, since Christ’s Word is the source of sweetening and seasoning in your life. Our Savior is this earth’s salt—and when He dwells in us, we become His savor. So, we go forth, bearing our Lord’s light, shining with His grace in others’ lives.

Life’s end is not the finish line, nor forever, and your enduring hope isn’t in this brief life. One day, our fragile, finite moments of mortality will succumb to illness or something else. Under the shelter of His wings, Your God will preserve you. Christ Jesus arose from the dead, who vows to call forth your weak and mortal flesh into a pure, immortal, and resurrected body. So you are living your life as He keeps, sustains, and graces you, evermore. Let this truth sweeten your time here with renewed joy and purpose.

Your Lord is with you now, both preserving and sweetening you. In His faithfulness, He promises you the cure for eternal death and holds you today and for eternity. Desiccated grains and salt’s essence gone, whenever we disregard God’s grace, which He gives to us in His Word and Sacraments. So abide in Him and His compassion for you. Stand firm in His truth, delivered into your ears and mouths and forever salted by His love.

Amid life’s tumult, torn daily by sin, broken relationships, and faltering health, Jesus pledges to sustain and keep you and to work every outcome for your everlasting blessing. By His resurrection from death’s tomb, you are now His sweet and savoring salt in this world, wholesome and preserving. Amen.