Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 20: Year 1
Morning, Psalms 87 and 90; Evening, Psalm 136;
2nd Kings 11:1 to 20a; 1st Corinthians 7:10 to 24; Matthew 6:19 to 24:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
While I really liked the adherence to the keeping of the Sabbath by at least a third of the military in our 2nd Kings reading, the reading was filled with greed on the part of the mother queen who had all her family rivals killed. She was more concerned about her own privilege and power. The last verse of our Matthew Gospel reading speaks to this, it says, “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth:” (Matthew 6:24).
I have for a long time now took issue with verse 21 which suggests our hearts follows our treasure, that is, our hearts follows our money. This statement automatically puts money first. I think rather, our treasure, (whatever disposable income we might have), follows our hearts, that is, what we are truly interested in. So for me, our treasure follows our hearts.
Our hearts might be our Church, it might be our car, it might be our education, it might even be our money and the associated power that comes with it. That is what drove the queen in the 2nd Kings reading to murder, and eventually to her own death. We must be better than that.
I am interested in many things. However, I don’t have the money to truly follow all of them. My ministry is most important to me. I devote much of my day to the study of scripture and writing what I believe will be an encouraging word for others. I also enjoy learning and playing music. But even my music is spiritual. I pay for piano lessons and practice daily. I let selected hymns be my motivation for righteous living.
I strongly encourage you who read this message to first discern your heart’s desire. Ask yourself if your heart’s desire is helpful or harmful to humanity. If it is helpful, continue on. Then, only as you are able, look at your money beyond your basic necessities and your charitable giving (which includes your Church) and let your treasure follow your heart. I truly believe that where your heart is, there your treasure will be also.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John