Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Matthew 6:19-21
Welcome to the Season of Lent. This is Ash Wednesday, the entry day for our Lenten journey, and we encounter Scripture that has been the Gospel for this day for centuries upon centuries. Matthew tells the story of Jesus teaching on a mountainside with his focus on what it means to be his follower and disciple. There are words of hope and also words of challenge, just as the Christian life includes hope and challenge. The invitation throughout Jesus’ sermon on the mount is to become closer to God and live a life of engagement and transformation.
This is the punch line for the 6th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus has been talking about what it means to be a follower and connected to God in a variety of ways. Now he comes to the culmination in
talking about treasures and the human heart. He knows that what we treasure and value has power in our lives, so he urges us to discover the treasures of the highest value possible. This is a treasure hunt that happens in the core of our hearts and souls, for it is in this core that we find what is really precious to us and what can enliven our very being.
Yes, there are a lot of rusty and moth-bitten illusions of treasure presented to us in life. That was the case when Jesus taught on that hillside two millennia ago, and certainly is for us now. Jesus invites us to look through them to the treasures of enduring value and deep delight. He says that we can discover immense and precious things through God and our relationship with God.
Lent is a time for a
treasure hunt. It is a season for discovery. It is an opportunity to find God in a new and deeper way.
Are you willing to go on this journey? Will you look in your own heart to find what is truly valuable and precious to you? We you seek to discover God in some new and hopeful way?
- The Rev’d Dr. Jim Lemler, Rector