Hidden treasures

Pencil Preaching for Wednesday, July 27, 2022

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Jer 15:10, 16-21; Matt 13:44-46

The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field” (Matt 13:44).

Hidden treasures and fine pearls! Who can resist? Wouldn’t sudden wealth solve all our problems, open the door to a different future, without anxiety or effort?

Jesus uses common and universal imagery to capture our attention about the greatest hidden treasure of all, the finest pearl imaginable -- an intimate relationship with the living God. In two one-sentence parables, Jesus stirs up the desire and drama he described earlier in his teaching on prayer: "Seek and you shall find; ask and you will be answered, knock and the door will be opened."

The indirect nature of the parable invites us to seek, ask and knock, for the story both hides and reveals the truth. A treasure is there, but it is buried. Only the one who digs finds it. To possess it, the finder must go and sell everything in order to own it. A fine pearl is out there, but the merchant must search for it, then sell everything he or she owns to claim it.

Today is our treasure hunt. Somewhere in the events of this day a treasure and a pearl of great price wait to be discovered. They may be hidden in the layers and folds of a complicated relationship in need of healing. They may be buried below the surface of an ordinary act of service that turns into a moment of life-changing compassion. A small act of courage may open the door to some greater challenge that reveals our own potential in some new way.

Parables are everywhere, each one containing an encounter with God, an intimate breakthrough, a glimpse into the face of Mercy, the power of Love. What greater treasure is there than to know the living God?

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