Monday, November 12, 2012



"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, NRSV)

We live at a time in history in which we are called upon daily to reassess our values. Rapid changes in the things of everyday living sometimes send us reeling as we do what is necessary to keep pace with the times. Consumerism is often a form of 21st century idolatry and fear drives far too many of our decisions in our homes and in our congregations. What we treasure and value is often disposable, suitable for giving or throwing away when the shine wears off.


In past generations, the things that were valued, treasured, or in which we invested our time, energies and money, were culturally clear. For example, family, in which parents taught the difference between right and wrong by example, was a cultural value. Higher education was a value. Moral integrity of elected and religious leaders was a value. Ethical behavior and decision-making in the sacred and the secular arena were values. Human life and freedoms were values to be fought for so that all people had access to them. There was a cultural and religious understanding of what was right and what was wrong.


In this post modern age, although many, if not most of the values named above continue to be important, they and other values tend to be relative, no longer absolute. Right and wrong depend on circumstance, situation, perspective or experience. The value of being obedient is truncated if what is being asked is immoral or leads to abuse. The value of being ethical and honest is diminished if truth telling results in rejection, marginalization or silencing. The value of being a role model becomes questionable when those in position to do so are hypocritical, untrustworthy or unsafe


Where do we put our treasures, what do we value, in what do we invest our trust in these times? In this chapter of His sermon on the mount, Jesus' call to invest in the treasures of heaven is ageless. After teaching the importance of placing our values well, Jesus names several of the treasures of heaven:

• Focused sight on the things of God
• Clarity about who we are here to serve
• Unwavering trust in God

Investing in these treasures brings the peace of mind that allows us to be persistent in well-doing, in serving others, in being persons through whom the light and love of Jesus Christ shines even in a world of relativity.
In these times during which we live, when innocent people are killed for revenge or because of their race or ethnicity - even in these times when unemployment is yet at an all-time high and the needs of the poor continue to go largely unmet - BECAUSE of these times, we must value the things of God even more than we may have done in the past. Because of these things, we must regularly re-invest ourselves, our faith and our hope in the treasures of heaven. Because of these times, the value of what God in Christ Jesus invested in us goes up.


The value of God's love for us, for the human race, revealed in Christ Jesus, does not change. God's love is not impacted by cultural shifts, economic changes, war, famine, or flood. The love of God in Christ Jesus is not diminished by our immorality or confusion. The love of God is not eliminated if we turn away from it. Rather, God's love is prevenient, (available before we know we need it or want it) even as Wesley reminds us, is God's grace toward us.
I invite us, in this coming season of Thanksgiving and as we anticipate the beginning of our Church year at Advent, to give thanks for the gift of the incarnation--God in Jesus Christ. God's investment in humanity, lavished upon us because God values us, God treasures us, God continues to invest in the human race, so that we might have and share life with others. Let us rejoice in God's gift - Jesus Christ -- and let us offer this treasure - his love and grace, to others in every place, at every opportunity, in every circumstance.

John Wesley invites us to do all the good we can, by all the means we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as we can.

"God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.
This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise." (II Corinthians 9: 8, 11, The Message)

In Christ's spirit of peace, Bishop Linda Lee

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer

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