Dr. Fred Craddock tells about the time he was to give two lectures in mid-October at the University of Winnipeg in Canada. He gave the first one on a Friday night, but, by the next morning, there was two feet of snow covering the area. His host couldn’t get to him so he suggested that Dr. Craddock walk down the block to a bus depot, which had a café. He made it to the café where other stranded strangers were gathered. He asked for a menu and a man in a greasy apron said, “What do you want a menu for? We have soup – that’s all.” Dr. Craddock ordered the soup and the man brought the soup out. Dr. Craddock tasted it – Yuck! It was awful. It was kind of gray looking; it was so bad he couldn’t eat it but he put his hands around the bowl and bent over the soup because it was warm.
The door opened and in came a woman clutching her little coat. The greasy apron man said, “What do you want?” and she said, “Just a glass of water.” He said, “You have to order, lady. Look, I have customers that pay. If you’re not going to order, you’ve got to leave!” And he got real loud about it. She got up to leave and started toward the door.
Almost as if rehearsed, everybody in that little café stood up and started for the door. And the man in the greasy apron said, “All right, all right, she can stay.” Everybody sat down, and he brought her a bowl of soup. The place grew quiet. Everybody was eating this soup. Fred Craddock writes: “I started eating the soup, and it was pretty good soup. I have no idea what kind of soup it was. I don’t know what was in it, but I do recall when I was eating it, it tasted a little like bread and wine. Just a little like bread and wine.”
A “pretty good” bowl of gray, warm soup transformed into something like bread and wine. How many times do we see instances like this throughout scripture? Something small and seemingly insignificant transformed into something of great importance. We see Jesus change a small amount of fish and loaves into a feast for many, and we take comfort in knowing that He provides. We hear of seeds, scattered on the ground and growing in rich soil, reminding us that our faith can grow and thrive when nourished. And in our text this week, we learn that we are salt and light, told by Jesus that we are valuable and we have been given a purpose.
As we continue our sermon series “Stories That Changed the World,” join us and hear of our true purpose as followers of Christ. Jesus calls us the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Learn how we live out this calling, and see how Jesus takes these two vivid images to help change the world.
Grace and peace,