When we first started to post audio versions of our sermons online, TKT suggested that while it was easier to post them by Sunday of the Church Year, nobody is going to be drawn to listen to “Sermon for Epiphany 5A.”
I get that, so now they get some sort of title. I try to make it catchy. I try to make it fit the sermon itself. But I’m always doing it after the fact, and every other week, I’m making up a title for TKT’s sermon, which is probably a bit disingenuous. I should probably ask him what he wants his sermon to be called.
Anyway, this week as I’ve been studying for my upcoming sermons, I’ve been drawn toward a title first. Three versions came to mind yesterday and as I shared them on Twitter and Facebook, the feedback was positive.
1. “Quit being morons”
2. “Y’all! Quit being morons”
3. “Y’all aren’t morons, but if you’re fixin’ to start, don’t”
I’m drawn to Matthew 5:13 – “Y’all are the salt of the earth; but if salt become foolish (mornaino), how can it be made salt again?” In first century Palestine, salt had three main connotations: purity, preservation, and seasoning. In order for it to be “foolish” or “moronic” or to use the idiom preferred by most scholars “lose its saltiness” then it would have to be impure and therefore useless for preservation and seasoning.
As the salt of the earth, made pure by the grace of God, we are expected to carry on the work of preservation and seasoning in God’s good creation. When we don’t, when we know better but act deviantly, then we are, quite frankly, morons. Not in the old psychological model of one whose IQ is low, but in the modern parlance of “a person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment.”
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus implores his followers not to be moronic, not to act in poor judgment, not to give up their saltiness, but rather to live fully in to what they were created to be: pure salt, capable of great seasoning and preservation.
Now, how to preach this without sounding like a moron? Better get back to work.