The Scripture reading this week is Mark 10:17-31
The sermon title is Where is your Heart?
Early Thoughts: Linnea Good has a song where the chorus sings:
Lay your burdens downIt seems to resonate with this passage.
Sing you own life's part
And there where your treasure lies
There is your heart
It is an age-old quandry. Where does money and wealth fit in with the Kingdom Jesus proclaims? Does being a follower of the Way mean renouncing all possessions? Is it possible to be wealthy and be a faithful follower of Christ (and what is the cut off that makes one wealthy)?
Maybe the question is actually what gets in the way of our ability to follow the commandments. Are our many possessions a help or a hindrance in that task? In 1 Timothy we are told that the love of money [not money itself as is often mis-quoted] is the root of all evil. The full verse (1 Timothy 6:10) actually reads: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. So yeah, it appears that money can get in the way of following The Way laid out by Christ.
It has been said in many various places that if you want to know the priorities of any organization (from the smallest household to the largest nation or corporation) look at the budget. Follow the money is not just an criminal investigative mantra (a favourite of Inspector Thomas Brackenreid of Station House 4 [Murdoch Mysteries]) it is a way of examining how well we are following the narrow path of faith.
I am reminded of a joke. A rich man dies and turns up at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter asks if he has anything to declare. "Just these," says the man, opening up his trunk to reveal a shining stack of gold bricks. "You brought paving stones!?" an amazed St. Peter replies.
In the Kingdom of God the world is turned upside down. Last will be first, first will be last. Those things we are taught have great value may indeed be almost worthless. The challenge for us as people of faith is to determine what the really valuable things are.
And where are our hearts?