The contestants pose for a group photo, as seen on Food Network’s Holiday Baking Show Season 4

23 Days of Advent –Day 8 Sugar and Spice and don’t forget the Salt

I’m taking a break from the traditional Advent activities, and a real guilty pleasure for me is to binge watch the Holiday Baking Challenge on the Food Network.  It is fun to watch the bakers rush around the kitchen and turn out these amazing holiday treats.  The show is just fun.  There are crazy, silly challenges and lots of laughing.  In each contest it is not just how the bake good look, they must taste delicious.  Have you ever gotten a Christmas cake from a bakery or through a mail order that looked beautiful, but the taste was blaa ?  There is nothing more disappointing.  You cut into a beautiful pastry that no one will actually eat. 

As we prepare for Advent and start to “bake our cookies”, we need to (as they say in the Food Network kitchen) get a real depth of flavor. A blending of spices and flavors can bring us a new experience and take us to a memory from the past.  And a key to getting the most out of flavors is salt.  Salt is an essential element in cooking because it enhances the flavors around it.  The idea of salt in many recipes is not to taste the salt, but to bring out the spices and flavors around it.  Stay with me,   I’m slowing making my way to our spiritual thought for today.  I’ll let Jesus take it from here.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
Matthew 5:13

I love that idea of “depth of flavor”, going deep, not settling for “surface”.  We are the salt of the earth, essential, important.  And each of us can enhance and nurture those around us.  What a thought for Christmas.  Be the positive force in the world; be the one who encourages, who brings out the best in those around you; be the salt. 

Grace and Peace at Advent


P. S.  We’ll pick back up on the Christmas story in Luke tomorrow.  But, on this second Sunday in Advent, I give you a blast from the past, from the Advent blog of 2016.   It bears repeating as we will continue to “dig in” to the scriptures of the Christmas story.  (and it is, to be honest, a relief for and exhausted preacher on Sunday night….)

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