NB: With a little help from Willimon's Pulpit Resource.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
I don’t know what you hear in this passage, but sometimes such promises increase my blood pressure. Mainly because of the second half of Jesus’ statement:
“Sell your possessions and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
No doubt Jesus is right. We spend money on things that are important to us. All spending is emotional spending. It comes from the heart, not from the mind. It’s not rational. No matter how much we tell ourselves otherwise. And I’d rather not have Jesus poking around in the most personal areas of my life.
I’m reminded of this passage each month when my credit card bill arrives. I dutifully check each item to make sure that there’s nothing on there that shouldn’t be. Or that I wasn’t charged twice when Amazon.ca made me click two times to make complete my transaction.
I don’t know if this happens to you, but every couple of months I’m surprised by where I’ve put my treasure. I’m staggered by some of the stuff I’ve purchased after sober reality kicked in. But I know, at the time, such purchases must have seemed like good ideas.
A subscription to a magazine that I could easily flip through at the library. The extra book that will give me free shipping, but which might not get around to reading any time soon. The organic olive oil in the fancy bottle to give my little cubby-hole of an apartment some semblance of class. And a few other items that shall remain...um....private.
They were all emotional purchases. I handed over my treasure to where my heart was.
And Jesus clearly tells us...(whole thing here)