Friday, July 22, 2011

This week’s focus: In Search of Hidden Treasure
Proper 12 Year A

He put before them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches." He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened." "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. "Have you understood all this?" They answered, "Yes." And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."

Matthew 13: 31-33, 42-52

Dear Friends,

From Treasure Island to Indiana Jones, there is something about stories of buried treasure, secret maps and hidden clues that uniquely captures our imagination. Over the ages the elusive dream of riches beyond counting has lead people up the Amazon in search of El Dorado and to blow the grocery money on lottery tickets.

This Sunday’s gospel is chock full of clues on where to find the ultimate treasure…the Kingdom of Heaven. A mustard seed. Leavened bread. A pearl of great price. As God and man, Jesus knew his audience, both then and now. As he goes on to explain: This is as the prophet said: I will speak using stories; I will tell things that have been secret since the world began. Jesus did not come to banter with the theologians. He came to save the people, to lead them to the Kingdom of Heaven.

But just what and where is that kingdom? And here we need no obscure clues or hidden messages. Christ points the way in deeds larger than life and transcending death. Knowing he faced execution, Jesus comforted his disciples: I am the way, and the truth and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.

He talked the talk; and then he walked the walk… for our salvation. He showed us that the kingdom is living here and hereafter in God’s love. The Peace of Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven…they are one. They are found in the realization that the flawed children of Eve are the beloved of God. In our pride, in our hypocrisy, in our darkest hour, you and I are cherished with a love beyond understanding.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God…It is there for the asking. God loves you beyond measure. Start digging for that treasure. Spend every day in that knowledge. Go home to him in that certainty.

Faithfully yours in Christ’s love,

Image Copyright © Jean and Alexander Heard Library and the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, a division of the Heard Library, 2007.

Text taken from The online Revised Common Lectionary is a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, a division of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library.

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