Guest post with author of Counting up to Christmas: The gift of our True Father“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?” – Luke 14:34, ESV. #CountinguptoChristmas #Jenniferelwood Click To Tweet
Have tantalizing aromas been trailing from your oven this year? When the world shut down last March, we rummaged through the pantry for ingredients and spent lots of meaningful time in the kitchen together. Did you bake too? When I look back, it seems baking became the official pastime of 2020.
As a family, we are practiced up for the upcoming holiday season.
The tasty morsels we create to celebrate holidays delight our tastebuds. Christmas doesn’t feel the same without them. Our family enjoys baking Christmas treats to bless our neighbors. We pack up the yummies in festive boxes and visit the people who live nearby. Our family lives up a hill in the middle of a pasture. It helps to bridge the gap between us and our neighbors when we deliver gifts to share around tables. I’m not sure what we will do this year, but we will continue some version of our tradition.As I wrote my new book, Counting Up To Christmas: 24 Gifts from the Gospel of Luke, I discovered that Jesus appreciated a good meal shared at a table too. Throughout the Gospel of Luke, we encounter Jesus during eight… Click To Tweet
Saltiness is a gift from Scripture that opens when we read Luke 14. At the time Jesus uttered Luke 14:34, His audience had an intense understanding that salt represented their covenant with the Lord, which initiated when their ancestors left slavery behind in Egypt.
To further open this gift, let’s examine how this covenant originally tasted:
“You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. You shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be missing from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.” – Leviticus 2:13, ESV
Salt, a preservative, symbolized permanence. In antiquity, this represented the binding, unchanging character of a covenant. Historically, these grain offerings, in the form of unleavened bread, sustained the Israelites during the first Passover. This flat, salted bread provided the energy needed to flee Egyptian captivity and cross the parted Red Sea towards the Promised Land of Israel. Imagine the leftover sensation of salt lingering in the mouths of the fleeing Israelites, reminding them of God’s presence and promise as they escaped enslavement.As believers, we continue to represent the covenant of salt because we are the salt of the earth! (Matthew 5:13) We are a gift of seasoning, bringing intensified flavor to the world. #guestpost #Jenniferelwood Click To Tweet
Believers should be characterized by the taste experience of a particular kind of salt—freshly smoked. The flavor of this salt is unusual and has a particularly exhilarating taste. Its flavor lingers uniquely, perhaps because it is unusual when compared to table salt.
I want to represent saltiness to those around me, particularly as we approach a more-challenging-than-usual Christmas season. I pray the Lord will use us to season others in a way that is uncommon and lingering. Let’s be the salt and sprinkle others with deliciously flavored words that point to the best spiritual meal ever—Jesus, the Bread of Life. (Luke 14:34, Mark 9:50)
We praise You, God, for reflecting Yourself in creation, even in something as simple as salt. Thank You for extending Your covenant of salt to us as believers. We pray that we would be intensely savory salt to those around us. Please help us to constantly point others to our main spiritual course: Jesus. Amen.
It is my honor to invite you to Count Up To Christmas in the Gospel of Luke with my new book and a fun, encouraging on-line community. Here are the links you need.
And, I’ll finish off this post with a recipe for smoked salt. If you are looking for an encouraging, unique gift, fire up the BBQ and make sure to smoke enough for yourself as well! (It really is delicious.)
To purchase the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Counting-Up-Christmas-Gifts-Gospel/dp/1735791008/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3V235X1ZLRRRS&dchild=1&keywords=counting+up+to+christmas&qid=1604767964&sprefix=counting+up+to%2Caps%2C314&sr=8-2
Freebies for the book, including the complete Counting Up To Christmas Recipe Book subscriber benefit, at: http://www.jenniferelwood.com
You can read my devotional review Counting up to Christmas: 24 Gifts from the Gospel of Luke by Jennifer Elwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Like many others, I feel the joy of the holidays and the pull to complete every task. During this season, I look for a devotional to help me linger longer in God’s presence and provoke me to remember the season’s true beauty.
If you are looking for a devotional this advent, I highly recommend Jennifer Elwood’s Counting up to Christmas, based on Luke’s book.
This devotion is divided up into chapters based on a topic that corresponds to the daily reading from the chapter of Luke. I particularly enjoyed the vivid pictures from Israel and the concept of receiving a new daily gift from God. This sparked a fresh sense of peace and wonder for the holiday season and is a reminder that God’s Word is the best gift. Inside His word, there are many endless treasures to discover and this devotional will set you on that journey. Grab a copy today and soak in the peace that comes from receiving priceless gifts from the heart of the God.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/100w all my reviews“>here
Counting Up To Christmas FB group:
Counting Up To Christmas on Instagram:
An online shop with “true peace” gift items: https://wood-knox.myshopify.com/search?q=Luke
To read more about Counting up to Christmas on Jennifer’s blog, click here
A Recipe for Smoked Salt
Salt (I prefer pink Himalayan because it is such a beautiful color)
Wood chips (The best flavor comes from Applewood)
A foil pan
A few sheets of tin foil
A charcoal grill
- Choose your salt. Pink Himalayan, Kosher, and Maldon salts are types I have tried. Maldon salt is flaky and resulted in some pretty flavorful salt. Consider that any salt you take the time to smoke will be delicious. If you plan to give some away as Christmas gifts, pink salt is quite lovely.
- Choose your wood chips. When I gleaned information about the best type of wood chips on the internet, there seemed to be a consensus that apple wood made the most delicious salt. The first time, we used cedar chips, and the second time we used mixed wood pellets. The cedar chips made a nice flavor. The pellets were fine, but the cedar chips were better. Next time, I will definitely try apple wood!
- Place each salt variety you have in small, open foil packets. Fire up your charcoal grill with the wood chips to at least 350. Place the salt packets inside and leave them 1-2 hours, stirring now and then.
- When you’re done, let it cool and keep it in a sealed container close to where you cook and serve food. You will enjoy the unique flavor for many meals to come!
About the author
Jennifer Elwood resides in Yakima, Washington. She is a lover of Jesus, wife of Tom, mom of three, and bonus mom and grandma of many. She enjoys rich coffee, European chocolate, and the color orange. Going to Israel for the first time in 2015 sparked her desire to write and she has not stopped since. Counting Up to Christmas: Twenty-Four Gifts from the Gospel of Luke is her first book. Stay up to date with her, download freebies, and receive the recipe book that accompanies Counting Up To Christmas, at www.jenniferelwood.com.