Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sermon on the Mount 13: Dude, where’s all my stuff?

Scripture: Matthew 6:19-21

Focus: Treasures in Heaven

Reflection: Wealth is fleeting. Wealth is so very needy. It requires so much attention. The more stuff a person has the more it requires of that person just to manage it, keep track of it, maintain it, and protect it. Stuff needs to washed, cleaned, stored, remembered, used, disposed of when it is no longer useful… wealth is needy.

The energy used in managing wealth is better used elsewhere.

My wife and I were at the St. Croix River once, enjoying a picnic and watching the people in their sail boats and motor boats. We talked about buying a boat. Look at how much fun they are having. Look at us, stuck on the shore. We’re watchers, but they are boaters. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a boat?

And then we wondered how much a boat cost. Then we wondered where you put a boat when you’re not using it. Then we wondered how you take care of a boat. Then we wondered how often would we really use a boat. Then we wondered how often would we need to use a boat to justify having a boat. We decided that if we were to buy a boat, then we would need to become boat people. If we became boat people, we would then become part of the boat people community, which meant getting all new friends because all of our current friends were shore people.

Suddenly, getting a boat was a really bad idea and we did not buy one. We didn’t have time for a boat and we really liked our current friends.

Everything you own, owns part of you. I think that is what Jesus is saying here. Do you want to own something that owns you that is going to be gone or worthless before too long? Well, when it is stated like that, no, not really. Kindness, goodness, love for other people, giving time for another person, lifting others up…these are another kind of treasure. Once a kindness is done, it cannot be undone. It is etched into eternity.

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