Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jesus taught us, saying: ‘Sell your possessions and give to those in need. Get yourselves purses that do not wear out, treasure that will not fail you, in heaven where no thief can reach it and no moth destroy it. For where your treasure is, there is where your heart will be too.’
Luke 12:33–34

Yesterday, I was thinking about the 'places' where Jesus isn't and the state of our hearts. This morning's Scripture reading above describes the places that we allow our hearts to go that we value above the presence of Jesus.

When reading this, my first thought was that I'm not terribly concerned about treasures in heaven, jewels in my crown, rewards that I will someday get when my soul floats off into heaven to be with Jesus for all eternity. That doesn't really inspire me to action. It's so distant and intangible. My own treasures, the things that I value above Jesus, are often a lot more real than these ethereal heavenly ideals.

But then I reread the passage in terms of heaven breaking into our present reality. The passage takes on an entirely different tone at that point. Instead of treasures being stored up in heaven somewhere, the treasures are genuine reality as the kingdom becomes more present in our midst. Instead of storing up treasures as rewards, the treasures are resources that are used in the inbreaking kingdom to further the mission that God has invited us to be a part of.

When I love someone unlovable, the kingdom of heaven becomes more real in our midst. When I forgive the unforgivable, bring hope to someone who has none, when I reflect the presence of Jesus into places that desperately need him, heaven becomes more real.

Even better, what happens if I can somehow view this passage in less individualistic terms? It's not ME storing up treasures for MYSELF...rather it's each of us storing up treasures that benefit all of us and the world as God's kingdom invades.

I guess that the essence of what I'm saying is that the things that we do as part of Jesus' kingdom advance matter NOW as well as for eternity to come.


At 1:48 PM, Blogger EnnisP said...

Actually, if we see "things" as tools, even in God's work, they become more useful and less "owned."


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