Devotional Thought of the Day:
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)
946 If you want to give yourselves to God in the world, more important than being scholars, you must be spiritual, closely united to our Lord through prayer. You must wear an invisible cloak that will cover every single one of your senses and faculties: praying, praying, praying; atoning, atoning, atoning.* (1)
There was a time where I longed to study, to be the most knowledgeable person. I loved to play games like Trivial Pursuit, and another game called Tribond. (you try to link three things together by what they have in common) I would read and read, hoping to master this piece of history, or that.
I think we have entered an age where the church does is doing the same thing. We want our pastors to have advanced degrees, we want consultants who will share with us the wisdom gain from surveys and studies. We applaud those who have the title theologian, and our young pastors and priests turn to podcasts and blogs to prove their knowledge, and their ability to dominate any discussion.
We desire expertise in churchwork, for we believe that making the church great again requires great knowledge.
This is what we’ve grown to treasure.
We will even downplay anything that smells of spirituality, calling it pietistic, or fanatic. Relationships come to mean less and less, as we prefer followers. Reconciliation loses importance and submission, preferably blind submission, becomes what we expect in our churches. (Even to the extent that we are told to send our troubled folk to larger churches, where they can be marginalized)
What would happen if this changed. If the people we admire were those of prayer, and of devotion to Jesus. What if those we pointed out for others to emulate were those who talked of Jesus love, and clung to him because they knew their hope was there because He promised to be with them?
What if we treasured those who desired reconciliation, and healing of broken relationships? What if we used as examples those who actually tried to imitate Christ, and asked forgiveness when they failed?
What if the church treasured those who treasured the love that is heavenly, that is Christ? Who loved even in the face of persecution, or great personal cost?
Wednesday is a the start of lent.
Perhaps giving up earthly treasures and honor to encourage heavenly treasure would be a good way to spend the 40 days….
(1)Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 2193-2196). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.