Recently, I made a hospital visit to a tormented mother and father whose baby was born at 27 weeks. I took in the heart wrenching scene of the tiny life in an incubation tube, so many wires and devices. Deep sadness and mourning all around.

The next evening the doctor called and said “It is time now to come back to the hospital.”

I understood his meaning. The parents had decided to unplug their child who was struggling for life. Upon arrival, I looked into the mother’s eyes and saw tears. But at the same time, joy–somehow, strangely, in the midst of mourning.

I was not prepared for that moment. I did not have a script. I had a Bible. So in a room crammed with 12 people, I performed a funeral for a living person. Then we–the parents, grandparents and I–prayed for an end to the suffering. Shortly afterwards, the baby left this world.

“You are the salt of the earth but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Matt. 5:13).

Two elements merge to form salt, NaCL. It loses taste by separation or contamination. The same is true of us.

We are bound to Jesus Christ through the mystery of salvation. We remain in Him by prayer, Scripture reading, and by participating in worship and accountability.

All necessary to remain salty and uncontaminated by the world.

Jesus tells us to abide in him. In that compound of every disciple, we find peace, blessedness and joy, regardless of our circumstances,

We remain faithful because we believe the words that God has laid before us for centuries and centuries.

We can trust in Him throughout the confusing, dark, and disappointing circumstances of life.

Whatever issue we face, whatever happens in our marriage, or at work, with our finances, we lean into the struggle, remaining compounded in Christ.

God, forgive us for allowing separation and contamination into our relationship with you. May we place our hope and trust in you.