On January 18 we explored together a couple short proverbial parables that have to do with value. The kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field. A man, who does not own it, stumbles across it, and then goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of God is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who finds one pearl of exceptional value, and he too, goes and sells all that he has and buys it.
What do you have that has value? Actual things. A house? A car? Jewelry? Tools? Collectibles? That’s one question, and it can be insightful. How we use our money does say a lot about us. But consider this question alongside it. What do you value? What things, even, do you value? Are they the same as the list above? Chances are, not. Chances are you now begin to think of photographs (or your computer on which all your photographs are stored), family Bibles and heirlooms, books signed by heroes and mentors, etc., those things you would be tempted to grab if the house was on fire.
What does this difference reveal? It reveals that we really do know, down deep inside, that life is about more than just stuff and money, that the true source of value in our life is to be found in family and relationships and community and faith.
And of all such matters, Jesus says the Kingdom of God (or Heaven to use Matthew’s term) is the most valuable. Living the way of Christ and being a part of God’s work in this world, helping to bring about a state of true justice and peace and hope and grace is, says the text, worth everything. Note the refrain in both parables…they sold all that they had and bought it.
I think that’s one important thing to remember when it comes to all matters of true value. They do cost. Scripture is clear about that. All the disciples left something when they came to follow Jesus—nets, tax collectors tables, etc. And the same is true today. There is always a leaving, a letting go of lesser things, to be a part of something far better, the Kingdom of God.
These past few weeks I have been moved to hear you speak in worship and in our in home discussions of what you value about our church, and why your investment here at FBC, as part of your overall investment in the Kingdom of God, is worth it. Stories of people being there for one another when the chips were down. Stories of people who cherished their children and/or maybe “got through” to their children when they as parents could not. Stories of pride in being a part of a church that will accept all and take a stand when necessary. Stories of worship that moved, study that challenged, service that fulfilled, etc. Stories of Kingdom stuff, that is indeed worth our time, our energy, our talents, our support.
Yes, who God is calling us to be and what God is calling us to do as FBC, is challenging. It will demand our very best, all that we have, but it’s worth it. Oh, how it’s worth it. For us, for our families, for our community, and so many more. The honor of being a part of the redemptive work of the One who considers us worth it all…is worth it all. Thanks for proving that to me over and over again, FBC. It’s a privilege to be your pastor.
This article was written by Rev. Dr. David Breckenridge and originally published in the February edition of Together.