The treasure . . . aaah, the treasure is incalculable.
A SUMMARY OF SUNDAY'S SERMON
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and in his joy he went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one very precious pearl, he went away and sold all he had and bought it." Matthew 13:44-46
Have you ever read this passage and asked yourself why? What is so special about that treasure that would make a man give up everything? Perhaps it's because what was found was just the beginning? Perhaps the man knew in his heart there was a much greater treaasure burried beneath? Perhaps the "very precious pearl" is even more rare and precious and valuable than is immediately seen?
The man in this short story is our example. The treasure is Christ himself. And that "very precious pearl" is Christ's bride, the Church. To own them, we must sacrifice. We must invest our time, talent and wealth to make Christ and his bride our own.
TIME, TALENT AND WEALTH TO DISCOVER TREASURE
How do we do this? We use the tools of excavation. First, a shovel--a tool to break up fallow ground of our hearts and reveal what lies beneath. This is our gift of TIME spent engaging in worship, study, and submission to the riturals and doctrines of the Church.
Next, we must use a pick--a sharp instrument to break up the rocky hardness of our hearts. This is the gift of TALENT--to step into ministry in any form. It doesn't matter if God is calling you to the ordained ministry, or to vacuum the carpets. It's ministry, and it requires a breaking of ego, a deep giving of self, and a piercing level of humility.
Finally, we take up our brush--gently removing all the dust and pebbles that obscure the beauty of Christ in us. This is the giving of our WEALTH, offered as tithes and gifts to support the work of the church. There is no act of the Christian life that better reveals "the joy thereof." Those who tithe will inevitably discover the faithfulness of God and the freedom of giving as our materialism and selfishness are swept away.
Now go, brave Christian. Trade your trappings for tools--a shovel, a pick, and a brush. Discover the treasure that awaits you in Christ and his bride, the Church.