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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, November 5, 2019  

Today’s Scripture Reading | Matthew 13:44–52

“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.” (NRSV)

I’m caught by the line “in his joy.”

What would it be like to give everything up, joyfully, for the highest treasure?

We celebrate people who have done this—when they are successful. We worry about those we might actually know in person when they do so. We say, “Moderation in all things,” and “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.” And we judge, all the time, what it is people decide is treasure.

But isn’t the value of a thing at least partly in the fruits of loving it? In how you are with others, how you are with yourself? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” And, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Your treasure should be whatever allows you to live most fully into that.

God of grace and mercy and abundance, help me to know what is true treasure and to have the courage to throw myself after it. Amen.

Written by Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life

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