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From The Garden Bench - Treasures

Words by David Hollows

In years to come, the question will be asked; And what did you do during the Coronavirus 2020 lock-down?

So, how have you spend your time? Completing DIY jobs you never, ever thought you would get around to doing? Gardening to produce a section of nature that even Percy Thrower would be envious of? Watching tons of box-sets and Netflix forever? Did you tidy cupboards and drawers and what did you find; items that you thought you had lost, items that you thought you never had bought, forgotten items or Treasures?

Have you ever thought about how amazing it must be for those enthusiasts who use metal-detectors and find a wonderful treasure hoard? Or of the treasures seized from the galleons by the pirates of the Caribbean?

So, what is your treasure? What for you is the quality of a treasure that you would then keep the object? What makes a certain object valuable to you for you to keep forever?

An old lady died and she insisted that she had her treasures stored with her in her coffin; these treasured were all her family photographs she had stored in a certain handbag. In the Egyptian pyramids the dad had with them the treasures they would need for the after-life.

Photo by Rumman Amin via Unsplash

So, what are your treasures? A lock of hair from the head of each of your children as babies? Jewellery? Miniature cars or other collectables? Do you have an art gallery? Photographs? Memories?

Treasures can be those objects which we value for practical reasons as our lives are dependent upon them; hearing aids, a wheelchair, telephones.

Our treasures may also be our family members, our friends, as well as our homes, our health, our vision our hearing ability.

The Bible is a treasure trove of memories; the stories of God’s people in the Old Testament handed down through many generations, usually in the oral tradition before being written. And treasure features in some of these stories; in the Exodus, the Israelites brought a huge amount of treasure out of Egypt with them. After battles in the Promised land, the Israelites took with them treasure from the battle scenes.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells the story of a man who found treasure, a pearl of great price. This man valued this pearl so much, that he sold everything he had and bought it. (Matthew chapter 13 verses 45 and 46)

Again in Matthew’s Gospel in chapter 6, Jesus talks directly about treasure; Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where the moth and rust and worm consume and destroy; and where thieves break through and steal. But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also. (verses 19 to 21)

You may have Christian treasures; photographs of important Christian events, a souvenir from a holy place, a favourite hymn/song, a priceless Bible passage.

Photo by DDP via Unsplash

But what does Jesus mean when He talks about storing up treasure in heaven? Perhaps Jesus was thinking about the following; acts of random kindness, supporting others in greater need, going the extra mile, your smiles, your prayers, the time you give to reading the Bible, time spent with God in worship, offering your time, talents and energy to God for Him to use as He wills, the amount of love you give and show to those God places into your life.

In his second letter to the Christians in the church at Corinth, Paul explains to these believers that they are the clay pots into which God places His treasure of the Gospel; in other words, the Gospel is the Good News that we have the promise of everlasting life with God in eternity when we accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. Now, this is a treasure.

Unlike the lady who had her family photographs with her in death, the treasures we will have when we are in front of God in eternity will be our Faith and our Love. Our life on earth is the opportunity we are given to use these two treasures in our relationship with God and with those we live.

Photo by Susan Holt Simpson via Unsplash

So, what and where is your treasure?

A poem by John Mason;

I’ve found the pearl of great price, my heart doth sing for joy; and sing I must, for Christ is mine, Christ shall my song employ. Christ is my Prophet, Priest and King; my Prophet full of light, my great High Priest before the throne, my heavenly King of might. For He indeed is Lord of Lords, and he the King of Kings. He is the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in His wings. Christ is my peace; He died for me, for me He shed his blood; and as my wondrous sacrifice, offered Himself to God. Christ Jesus is my All-in-all, my Comfort and my love. My life-below, and He shall be, my glory-crown above.

The following hymns from Mission Praise may also help you; Seek ye first the kingdom of God - 590 All to Jesus, I surrender – 25

A prayer which may help you;

Almighty God, give me wisdom to perceive you, intellect to understand you, diligence to see k you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you and a life to proclaim you, through the power of the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Photo by Nitin Mathew via Unsplash

Signing off; your local Lay-Worker, David Hollows

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