Pastor’s Blog – A Reflection on the Scripture for Sunday August 11, 2019

Scripture for this week:  Luke 12:32-40

 

Make purses for yourself that do not wear out….

Jesus is calling, inviting, praying that we will respond. We have a role to play.  We are to make purses that do not wear out.  We are to live our lives in such a way as to become immortal from what Jesus appears to be saying.  How else would we interpret “that do not wear out?”  But how?  How do we develop this sense of understanding about ourselves that we have a treasure, we are a treasure that is immortal?  That is the subject of Luke’s Gospel.  The core question of the Gospel is

“What do we treasure?”  Then the follow up question is,

“Do we treasure it enough to conform our live to holding that treasure?”

Over the next few paragraphs we will explore these two questions.

First, let’s take a look at the word “treasure,” and how Luke uses it in his Gospel.

 

treasure

 

 

NRSV

 

 
Lk 2:19

 

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But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

 

Lk 2:51

 

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Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

 

Lk 6:45

 

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The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

 

Lk 12:21

 

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So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

 

Lk 12:33

 

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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.

 

Lk 12:34

 

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Lk 18:22

 

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When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 4:18 PM August 5, 2019.

Treasure and Heart seemed to be intimately intertwined for Luke.  In his perspective “Heart” is much more than just the muscle pumping blood through your chest, it is your inner spiritual life, your physical life, and your mental life collected in in one word.  It is the nature of who you are.  Out of the nature of who we are comes either good or evil.  This is a very Jewish perspective.  The Jewish tradition holds that we are all equally capable of good or evil.  The have no concept of original sin.  They believe we have equal propensity towards good or evil.  The choice is ours.  We can develop with the help of God (by following the Way of Jesus) our spiritual heart muscles.

Perhaps our treasure is our gift to the world.  It is the way we respond to every situation with Godly intentions.  It is our immortal gift of grace to the world.  It is how we love and shape the people around us through the way we treat, teach, and help them to grow and develop.  For Mary, treasure was a gift of experiences given to her by God.  It was the in-breaking of the divine into her life.  And she reciprocated by pouring her life into serving and loving God.

The same seems to be Jesus’ instructions to his followers.  To the disciples he says, “Little Flock, give your lives away for God for it is his good pleasure that you experience his Kingdom!”  To the rich young man Jesus says basically the same thing.  The kingdom experience is all around us.  Experiencing it in-breaking into our lives has quite a bit to do with how we live our lives.

Archbishop Rowan Williams offers this perspective:

“Because we have intelligence and love and imagination, our living in our environment is an evolving story, not just a given fact. The story of our salvation is the story of that learning, taught by the God who brings the very divine life itself to inhabit our world, to touch, to heal, to promise and to transfigure. We need to recover the sense that the Gospel is always about healing, because it is always about telling effectively and transformingly how God has inhabited and continues to inhabit this world.

The Gospel tells this in word, image and concept, and we tell it in our theology and our practice, in what we do in our work for justice, in our art, in our care and our pasturing, remembering that one of the greatest paradoxes of the Christian faith is that we only learn to live in ‘heaven’ – in the presence of our maker, saviour and lover – when we learn to live on earth, here and now inhabiting the space in which God has placed us.”

 

Williams, Rowan. Holy Living: The Christian Tradition for Today (Kindle Locations 499-506). Bloomsbury Publishing.

May you give as God gives, and receive the gifts of God’s good pleasure

Pastor Eric