An amazing discovery, that changed the focus of my preaching….
Devotional thoughts for our seemingly broken days…
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field. g
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. 46 When he found one priceless h pearl, he went and sold everything he had, and bought it. Matthew 13:44-46 HCSB
The sermon, moreover, should draw its content mainly from scriptural and liturgical sources, and its character should be that of a proclamation of God’s wonderful works in the history of salvation, the mystery of Christ, ever made present and active within us, especially in the celebration of the liturgy.
One of the most amazing discoveries I made, when I moved from being “non-denominational” to being Lutheran is seen in how I viewed the scripture above.
I always thought we were the ones seeking the Kingdom of God, which was the treasure buried in the field, that we were the merchants in search of the priceless pearl. We had to search, to work to find that treasure. Perhaps there were commentators that disagreed with this, but most sermons I heard taught us to reach out, to give it all, for being in the Kingdom of God would be more than worth it!
But what do we have to sell that would allow us to purchase the field, what do we have that could acquire the pearl that is beyond price? My brokenness? My sin? My pride and narcissistic nature?
Nothing I have, nothing I am is worth that much, there is nothing I can do.
But to reverse the understanding, to make us the treasure buried in the much, the pearl that required a high price doesn’t seem right. It doesn’ seem right that the Kingdom of God was about our being sought and found, then buried till the price was paid. (for we were buried with Christ Jesus) That the Kingdom of God is seen by our being bought with something priceless
Yet that is the Kingdom of God that Jesus revealed to us, we are the people He found and bought for a great price. Our fellowship, our communion with God, that is what the Kingdom of God is, the place where God makes Himself a people, and where they recognize He is their God.
This is what Vatican II stated when it clarified what the role of preaching is, to make God’s wonderful work of salvation known, as it reveals them through the history. This is the incredible mystery of Christ. This is what we preach, Christ, present and active with us.
For me, this is the what needs to be done in every sermon, whether on Sunday or Wednesday night, whether it is in a church service, or in a Bible Study, this is what we are called to do, not just to Christians, but to the entire world.
We need to know God loves us, that He is here, that He has searched out and found us, and purchased and treasures us, because He sees in us what we can’t see. That we were made in His image.
May all our words and actions proclaim this. AMEN!
Catholic Church. “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: Sacrosanctum Concilium.” Vatican II Documents. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011. Print.