February 26

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

“but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.” vs. 20

We’re familiar with these words of Jesus; at the very least we’ve heard them read at worship during our Ash Wednesday services. They’re a yearly staple of our lectionary, the texts that are set aside for the three years of the liturgical cycle. And most of us agree with Jesus, storing up treasures on earth is pure foolishness; ultimately those things we accumulate will become useless to us–aging and the passage of time destroy their value. Some of us have even become a part of the current trend toward minimalism and have followed the advice of people like Marie Condo. We’ve given away our possessions and decided to keep only what sparks joy in our hearts. But is this the same as storing up treasures in heaven? Some might say that it is, and they may be partially right. Minimalism does cut down on our accumulation–but there’s still a focus on the material. Heavenly treasures are better understood as spiritual or relational. They are those deeds and practices which connect us to God and to one another, and will always have loving at their core. They’re the experiences that could be described as “priceless,” a walk in the evening with our sweetheart or a hug from a runny-nosed grandchild. Moments like these can only come as we abandon our connections to “stuff” and embrace our neighbor as ourselves.

Thought for the Day: What are my treasures in heaven?

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