The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Spill and spread the salt, don't remove it ...

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:13, "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 by men. ..."

I was reading that Scripture this week, preparing for World Communion Sunday and my mind went back to the darkness of a Monday morning in spring 1987. I quit drinking in 1983 and was born again on Easter Sunday 1985. At that time I quit doing drugs, too.

I was drawn to teaching adult Sunday school, then began working with youth at my home church, Middlbrook Pike United Methodist in Knoxville, where I shared the story of how Jesus Christ set me free from substance abuse and began to heal the wounds in my life.

In spring 1987, I somehow deluded myself into thinking I could have an occasional glass of wine. That lasted about two months before I got roaring drunk twice: first at my father-in-law’s 50th birthday bash and second at Donna’s class reunion. It was in the darkness of a Monday morning on my way to work that God spoke to me through the cobwebs of my mind. He said, “You can do this thing, but if you do you can not do my work."

After all that He had done for me, to continue drinking would take the salt out of my Christian witness; it would be a denial of the grace He has showered down upon me.

I have not had a drink since that day. At various times I would drink non-alcoholic beer, but even that has ceased.

To bring the flavor of the Kingdom of God to the world, the church must spill the salt, not keep it in the shaker.

To spread the healing, preserving salt around the world, the church must ensure the salt is not diluted, but retains its full effectiveness.

When we dilute our witness by living and acting in an un-Christlike manner, when we fail to practice an authentic Christian lifestyle, when we fail to worship in spirit and in truth, we are no longer the salt and light for the world.

It's no wonder the church is sometimes thrown out and trampled underfoot.