Saturday, March 21

Reader: “For where your treasure is,”

Response: “there your heart will be also.”

Scripture: Matthew 6: 19-24

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Reader: This is the word of the Lord.   

Response: Thanks be to God.

Some thoughts:
As we narrow in on Jesus’ life as the ominous weight of the cross draws nearer, we see more and more clearly how single-minded and centrally focused he was. His earlier words, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…” was lived out in his words “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  He had no home. When he was killed, he had nothing other than the clothes he was stripped of. When he died naked on the cross, he had nothing. He came to this earth with nothing and he left with nothing. Jesus did not store up treasure on earth. What treasure he stored in heaven, however, is glorious beyond our imagination. His heart was not in earthly things, but in people. Have you noticed in every mention of Jesus in the New Testament, he is engaged with people, his greatest treasure? Even when it describes him as alone, he is talking with this Father. Secondly, have you observed the number of times Jesus refers to the subject of light? Healing blind men, calling the Pharisees blind guides, blind fools, I am the Light of the world, Nicodemas’s coming to Jesus at night when it was dark, you are the light of the world, are just some of the instances where Jesus seeks to open the eyes of the blind and to bring Light to “people who walk in darkness.” The reference is to the “eyes of the soul.” Finally, Jesus makes very clear that to follow him, people must die to themselves. Having it both ways is not possible because both masters want everything. They will not share. People serve God or something else.  A legitimate question we might ask is, “How much of my life (my time, energy, thought, money) is going into things or pursuits that are of little eternal consequence?” In C.S. Lewis’ words of wisdom, “Do not live these days for things in your life that will end when you do.” If we measure “treasure” only in terms of money, pleasure, leisure, identity, or the material, we see how quickly it can all fade. When we are in the grave, none of those treasures matter in the least. Do you see in Jesus’ words, the point is not earthly treasures, but the affections of the heart?  The quality of the treasure is indicative of the quality of the heart. The character of the heart is central, not the treasure. It is for that heart’s affection that Jesus went to the cross. Where is your heart’s affection today?  That is the treasure you are accumulating. Hopefully, it doesn’t end when you do!

Music: ““Be Thou My Vision”    Nathan Pacheco  

May God support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done! Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last.                                         ―John Henry Newman 1801-1890