I have had the sad blessing of presiding at some funerals lately. These were friends and pillars of the congregations which serve. I will miss them. One of them retired from the Navy with the rank of admiral. He was not a combat officer but a legal fellow, a JAG Corps member. In his retirement, he served with me at Concordia as a professor. An amazing fellow who had done some very good things in his life. He lived by a worthy motto – Don’t pass up a chance to say nothing.
The other was equally but differently amazing. She had been a nurse but went on to be one of the founding element of hospice care in this state. She became the person who articulated the principles of Hospice Care throughout the state to the medical community. She went on to become the head of the American Cancer Society state chapter, wrote a book, and founded a ministry to serve people with chronic illnesses.
Jesus tells us today to count the cost of discipleship and then tells us to be salty at the end of this week’s Gospel reading. I believe too often we read those lines and interpret them from a perspective of poverty and blandness. Jesus encourages us to estimate the cost and go for it. These two saints whom we grieved and buried were salty folk. They heard their Lord call and they answered, counting the cost of Christ’s sacrifice worthy of their response. They invested their whole lives into service of people, seasoning and preserving.