“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
In His book, Bible Windows, author Ivar Powell tells the story of a rich man who died and left no heirs and, apparently, no will. When his household goods were auctioned, the bidding was fast and furious until a small painting of the dead man’s son was brought forward. The painting had been cherished by the wealthy father because the boy died at an early age.The auctioneer did his best but the crowd showed no interest. Finally, a frail, elderly woman in drab garments placed a small bid and the painting was hers. She had been the boy’s nurse when he was a baby and had loved him dearly. Later, as she examined the painting closely, she noticed a bulge in the backing. Making a small cut, she removed an envelope which turned out to be the man’s missing will. The document stated very clearly that he wanted to leave his entire fortune to the person who still held dear the memory of his beloved son.
There are many facets of church life that draw our attention. Those who desire structure may be drawn to its’ institutional aspects. Others with an aesthetic interest may be drawn to its’ rich musical and artistic heritage. Still others see value in the church’s social concern, youth programs or congenial fellowship. The “bidding wars” over these matters in church life can be fierce. But they are penultimate matters at best. Preoccupation with them can blind us to the great center of church’s life.
The priceless treasure of the Church is Jesus Christ. In Him God has revealed His will and grace, His determination to forgive sins. In a real sense, if we have all the things mentioned above but do not have Christ, we have nothing of any lasting value. If we have Him, though we are poor in every other way, we can say with joy and gratitude that we are rich.
“May the peace of God that passes all understaning keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”