Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This past week, I listened to a story about the most recent survey from the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life.  The headline reads:  U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious.  In 2014 the religiously unaffiliated (also called the “nones”) now account for 23% of the adult population, which is up from 16% in 2007.  What is the cause of this increase in the religiously unaffiliated?  Statistically it’s being driven by young adults who are far less religious than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.  But what is causing these young adults to be far less religious than previous generations?  As I thought about this question, I thought about our scripture for this Sunday. 

Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?  It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13.  I’ve often heard believers lift up the idea that “we are the salt of the earth.”  They act as if Jesus gave a compliment to the church.  But it’s actually not a compliment.  It’s a dire warning.  Jesus calls us to be salt to instruct us in our mission as his followers in this world.  But Jesus calls us salt to also warn us.  We can lose our power to salt.  What happens when we lose our saltiness?  Well, Clarence Jordan writes, “When this happens, people will no longer bother to persecute Christians.  They’ll do something even worse; they’ll dump them out and go about their business.”  I wonder if this is what’s happening in the U.S. today.  Is the church being discarded because we have lost our power to salt? 

This Sunday, we’ll explore the ways we can be salt and light in today’s world.

Pastor Dave