25th FEBRUARY

Matthew 8: 18 - 22

“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Someone once said to me, “remember son, your health is your wealth.”  When we think about wealth we more often than not think about it in the material sense:  what we have in the bank, the kind of house that we live in or the car that we have in the driveway.  Yet, there are times when we do take stock and consider what is really important in our lives as we reflect on where our wealth is to be found.  There are many treasures in life.

By worldly standards even in first century Palestine Jesus would have been considered poor.  He had no worldly possessions that we are aware of.   He didn’t have a house and home as he sought shelter in the houses and homes of family and friends.  He even was to be found being fed and watered at the houses and homes of sinners and tax collectors.  The riches that he came to share were out of this world.  The teacher of the law recognised these riches and wanted for them for himself which is why he offered to follow Christ.   You’d think that Jesus would have welcomed this new follower with open arms, but he doesn’t seem to even answer the question.  Yet, what he does is to set a challenge for the man and for all of us.

The challenge is what it means to follow Christ.  Here in this context and for this man it meant making himself homeless to travel with Jesus and his followers.  When we take a step back and consider that Jesus had many followers who were both rich and poor we understand that we don’t need to make ourselves poor or even homeless to follow.  What we do need to do is to give up all that gets in the way of following Christ.  It also means giving up all that gets in the way of what it means to serve as we considered yesterday.

There is a cost in following Christ which we have considered in our journey so far but the reward is quite literally out of this world and the outcome is a world where we can make a difference in feeding whoever is hungry in whatever that hunger might be.  When God sent his son into the world he opened up a treasure store of gifts of love for us all us treasures that will be a blessing to you and I and to all we seek to serve.

What do you treasure the most in life?  Who do you treasure and who should you treasure?  What does it mean to be treasured by God?

Lord Jesus Christ,

you were rich yet made yourself poor for our sakes;

out of your poverty you came to bring us riches beyond our imagining.

May we treasure what you give

and may we give to each other what we treasure.

In your name we pray.

AMEN.