Scripture: Matthew 6:19-24
Key verse: (21) “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Reflection: This week the auditors are here reviewing the church’s books. Their presence reminded me of the words of the Capital Campaign Consultant to the congregation I served in my first capital campaign. “If you want an audit of your faith, look at your checkbook.” Remembering that moment still elicits a queasy feeling in my stomach. As the old preachers say, “Now you’ve gone to meddlin’.”
I imagine Jesus’ original words to his apostles in the Sermon on the Mount evoked similar responses. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Of course, most of his apostles were likely poor, so they certainly didn’t have great treasure amassed. But as people in poverty, they likely worried about money, or the lack of it. How would they feed their families? How would they pay their debts? Jesus’ words surely challenged them as much as they challenge us.
Where do we put our treasure? In what do we invest our time and money and energy? Jesus says, “Wherever that is, there you will find your heart.” With a child in college and one on the way to college, for the Cliffords, the largest portion of our heart is in higher education right now! Of course, it’s really in our children and wanting them to be able to reach their God-given potential. A close second is in our home on Selwyn Avenue. It’s in our cars and our clothes, in local restaurants and other recreational activities. It’s also in the life and ministry of Myers Park Presbyterian Church, and other kingdom work; like Columbia Seminary and Montreat and other mission partners of the church. Our treasure is in all those places, so I suppose our heart is as well.
Perhaps what’s really at stake is who do we serve? That’s the implicit question called forth by Jesus’ words at the close of our reading for today. “You cannot serve God and wealth,” Jesus says. His words are hard, but they are true. Where do you put your treasure? Where do you invest the money God has entrusted to you? Where do you put your time and energy? What do you worry most about? Put another way, who do you serve?
There are many potential answers: the bank, the boss, the IRS, myself. In the end, any answer other than the Living Lord will leave us wanting.
Prayer: Today as we face the many masters that seek to lay claim to our lives, may we remember you alone are our Lord. You alone are our Savior. In you alone do we find the life that really is life. Give us the courage to serve you with all we are. Amen.
Author: Joe Clifford
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].