Matthew 6:19-24 Ezra 4
As I write this, I am gazing out over some of God’s most beautiful creation in Far North Queensland. While travelling through the inland we have come across some of the most dry and desolate landscapes dotted with thin, dusty cattle and then on the coastal fringe the most lush and fertile areas with tall, colourful plants which almost grow before our eyes. So many contrasts.
In our travels we have mostly stayed in cabins in caravan parks where we have had many opportunities to meet an eclectic mix of people. Many are older people who have travelled north to escape the cold weather or simply to spend their retirement travelling with their caravan. Great for the economy of the many small struggling country towns, but where is their purpose in life? Where are their hearts? What do they treasure? Is it the size of their rig which defines their social standing?
Our reading from Matthew this morning challenges us, as did Oscar on Sunday last week (thanks Greg Bell for the YouTube clip) to think about how we live, our purpose in life and what treasures we consider important.
During our travels we have been discussing and asking ourselves: What is the path that God wants us to follow? How do we spend retirement? Is it a time to rest and reflect on a long working life and plan leisurely days and weeks? Where are our priorities? What do we treasure?
Jesus teaches us that if we really trust God, our everyday actions will reflect that the Kingdom of Heaven is our treasure. We will value Jesus more than what society demands of us, ie. our possessions, our money, our holidays. If we do value what our Lord values rather than what our society values, we have a mandate to be aware of the needs of people around us. How does that look to each of us?
I have read that people who are professed “Christians” take in 68 percent of the world’s income with 3 percent going in tithes and an even smaller amount to world mission. (Apologies to those statisticians amongst us as I have no idea how these figures were derived.) The world’s needs are enormous, often overwhelming, but I know we can all play a part, even in some small way, starting right here in our own city, our community. We can’t claim not to love wealth more than our brothers and sisters in Christ when we see them hurting and not act.
As we journey south now towards Townsville, we are all convicted that God has a purpose for each of us. He will use the specific gifts he has given each one of us to bring glory to his Kingdom here on earth. We just have to be listening and be ready to take up the challenge. Let us be ready to do as Jesus did, for the glory of God and the goodness of others.
Evelyn, Iris, Rob and Wayne