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Friday, March 31, 2017

Sermon on the Mount, Day 27 of 40: The Eternal

Matthew 6: 19-21
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.

Oak Island is a 140 acre privately owned island off the south shore of Nova Scotia. It has become known primarily for a century old legend that hidden treasure of pirates, or Templars, or Spanish explorers, or Vikings lies somewhere on its shores.  Many people have searched in vain for this mysterious treasure.    It is said that once you arrive on Oak Island, you develop tunnel vision (treasure sickness) that blots out anything but the vision of the hidden treasure.  Many people have lost their life savings searching for it.  Six people have lost their very lives in the attempts to find it.

In these verses, Jesus compares earthly treasure with heavenly treasure; temporal things vs eternal things.  All people need temporal things that are necessary to survive such as food, clothes, shelter, money, etc.,.  Jesus is saying that while these things are important they should not become the God that we worship.  They should not become the main purpose of our existence.  In our efforts to provide earthly things for ourselves and our families, we should keep the eternal things ever before us.  

I once observed a woman  through my office window walking very briskly down the sidewalk.  Her manner and her gate made me think that she was very focused on her objective and very determined to get there.  Behind her a small child followed.  I think she must have been about 3 or 4 years old.  I also think this child belonged to the woman she was following.  This child was singing as she walked and kicking at fallen leaves; picking them up, throwing them, laughing; her hair blowing in the wind.

Like this woman, if we focus our time and energy only on earthly things, we have no vision to see God's gifts (the eternal things) such as love, mercy, grace, forgiveness.  Our eyes ought to be focused steadily on these.  These are the things which do not rust; these are the things that no one can steal; these are the things freely given.

Tomorrow we study the light.

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