Your treasures in heaven
Published 11:54 pm Friday, February 1, 2019
Often, we pray in anguish that our faithful God will give the answer for which we longed to receive.
I pray with a small group of individuals on Wednesday mornings at the church: “Remember those who seek changes in our world, that they see beyond personal need and work toward the welfare of all. Bless with your comfort those who must endure change within their lives that come with aging, employment, relationships and the unplanned challenges of life. Make your presence known in all times of struggle and give clear light toward a resolution of peace and contentment.”
I am included in the “those” who seek changes and desire to work toward the welfare of all. To work for the welfare of others is not necessarily convenient. I need the presence of God that gives clear light.
One of my preset radio stations is “Enlighten,” which offers southern gospel music. One song that was I not familiar to has recently gotten caught in my mind. I laid awake unable to shake it from my thoughts. For several days it was on my mind when I awakened. The song was playing fairly often through the day while I was making my daily rounds of visitations. The song has a strong lead bass part, the rhythm is foot tapping worthy and the message is clear. Sung by the Mark Trammel Quartet, the words are, “Why don’t you lay up, lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven that will not pass away.”
If God has been specifically messaging me through the song, the reception has been clear, but the application was not. The message I heard was to lay up treasures in heaven that will not pass away. I am hopeful that the application was in part attending a basketball game in which my 12-year-old great-nephew played, and, driving 11 hours to Holly Pond, Alabama, staying three hours for the funeral of the mother of a longtime friend and lunch that followed. I had considered passing up both opportunities. Each held a type of treasure.
The song has again led me to be reflective upon conflicts in the world that are about possessions and the fear of losing such. The most recent government shut-down was about a costly wall reasoned to protect lives, land and liberty. There is a power struggle in Venezuela where the leader voted out refuses to give up the power misused, creating a situation where his citizens are without the basics of food and medicine. There is in my community a power struggle concerning the process for the placement of a state-operated juvenile justice center. Shamefully, it seems that process, politics of electability and personalities hinder the ability to move toward resolutions of peace and contentment.
What would it be like if the mindset were more upon the treasures that we can lay up in heaven over those we accumulate on earth? We claim as children of God, and some as followers of Jesus, to live trusting in God, to live in charity toward our neighbor, and to be joyful not in ownership but in being stewards of the lands and resources created by God. Why then are persons in places of governmental leadership not held accountable by themselves or the community of faith to what is claimed? It is ridiculous to have debate over prayer in school, prayer opening governmental meetings and a defensive attitude toward removal of the motto “In God We Trust,” when we seek to lay up earthly treasures rather than those of greater lasting value. There are immense treasures found in living as a child of God that will not pass away.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”
– Matthew 6:19-20
Your servant in Christ,
SAM ASKEW is the pastor of Windsor Congregational Christian Church. He can be contacted at 242-4794.