Emmitsburg Council of Churches


The Holy Gospel according to St Luke 12:32-40

 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.

Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38 "If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. "You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." The Gospel of the Lord! Praise to you O Christ

Treasures of Faith

PJ. Sometimes I just don't understand what Jesus means when he says we don't need any treasure down here in this world. . . . Fact is, it takes a pretty big Purse just to keep food on the table and the rent paid!

Linda: Not to mention if you have Children to raise, the car breaks down or the taxes go up!

PJ. When I was a boy.... seems My Mom had a really Big Purse . . .the fact is, she needed it when she took us 5 Kids shopping for back to School Clothing -- Didn't Jesus have any idea what it's like to pay the bills for raising a family? – not discounting,,, if you live alone, it's just that much harder!

Linda. I'm sure when Jesus was young, he wanted and Needed things too. – He was Human after all! Maybe his Mother knew what it was like for Moms' today...making pennies go further at the Marketplace has not changed much in 2000 years! . . ..Mary also needed to buy cloth and maybe imported spices.

PJ. Joseph must have had accounts with Wood Suppliers–he had to buy some of his bronze or copper tools from other merchants. I'm sure he knew all about what we call --TREASURE, between paying other workers or Roman taxes in Nazareth...I'll bet he saved whatever he could for Mary and the family.

L. On the other hand, we have to remember that Jesus had the mind of God and as he Grew he was more and more Wise to know and Teach God's Ways as over and above our ways– Of course, Jesus also knew People -- and "mere humans" would Always Want more of Life's little Treasures!

PJ. You're Right. Indeed we are Human. We have needs, Desires and Goals in life. That's what my family taught me – ‘If you want something in this world, you've got to get out there and earn it!' MAKE SOMETHING OF YOUR LIFE!

L. Yea, that's kind of what we were taught too. And there were many opportunities when we were growing up. But, Opportunities come in all kinds of different packages. One person might find fortune in enterprise, another might get an Education and go to work in Medicine, Science or Education – or another might have a Military career or be a Civil Servant.

PJ. Yes a Good Career Choice can make One's Purse Bulge with Wealth!

L. Some gain a lot.....but they may lose it. Come to think of it, I know what it means to have some of my treasure disappear. . .

PJ. What do you mean -- Disappear? I once lost a pocket knife... it wasn't just any pocket knife, but it was one that my grandfather father gave me. Then there was a Boomerang my father brought me back from Australia. I threw it . . . and it never came back! ...Searched all day for that thing in the woods–it Truly Disappeared!

L. Some treasures we receive as gifts, others we may earn or work for. But ALL Earthly Treasures can be lost. . . or stolen.

PJ. Your Starting to sound more like Jesus. I don't like to think of my Earthly Possessions getting lost or taken away from me by a perfect stranger. Didn't King Solomon speak in terms like this?

L. Yes, I believe it was he who said, " I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me 2:19 --and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish?" (Ecc. 2:18-19)

PJ. That's what they say, ‘You Can't take it with you when you go!"

L. God doesn't intend to Take away the Gifts he gives us. He's not what we might call an "Indian Giver" – I mean the Lord is not cruel. However, he does wait on us to see what we do with earthly Treasures, and he likes to hear words of Thanksgiving and for us to show equal generosity to others.

PJ. My Father always wanted to know, "How could I have just thrown away my Boomerang that he brought to me all the way from Australia??" I Guess God might want to know what became of the Wealth or Treasures he gave to us -- for many important uses...and did we ever give thanks? Hey you mentioned you lost something recently....Did God take away your Treasure?

L. My Loss relates to a $100 Dollar Purse and everything in it!

PJ. A $100 Purse?! What kind of Purse Costs a Hundred Dollars?!

L. It was a very Special Purse and I bought it on sale! Frankly, it was well built, and was going to last me a long time . . .

PJ. Oh, yea, I know–hand=crafted leather goods are expensive. Must have been terrible to lose that purse. But Good Lord, what was the non-sale price?!?

L. That's none of your business!....but it's not the Purse that really matters, it's what was in it that really cost me!

PJ. Do mean you lost your Wallet and keys and such??

L,. As A matter of fact that's exactly what I mean....But there's Something More.

PJ. My Aunt used to tell the story about the time her Green Stamps got Stolen out of her PURSE when she left her shopping Cart in Isle 5 at A&P to get a loaf of bread. . .

L. Ahh, Green Stamps? I remember those - They were from a really long time ago!!!

PJ. Yea, I think they started using those in the late 30s! Aunt Ida got some really cool stuff!!

L. Enough about Aunt Ida's Green Stamps! . . . . Now let me Tell you What else I Lost When thieves broke into my home Monday night and stole my purse. I lost my IDENTITY!!

PJ. I don't get it, I see you standing right there . . . like You Look LIKE YOU are WHO YOU ARE TO ME!!

L.. You're really Starting to annoy me! Where have you been in the last 10 years? .....Don't you understand that People will break into your home and steal your Stuff AND your IDENTITY? A Thief, these days, doesn't have to steal your wallet -- they can get information from your Trash Can! . . . like any Papers that have your Credit Card Numbers or Social Security Number – things like that – and then life gets really worrisome!

PJ. That sounds very troubling.....I see what you mean. Maybe this has something to do with What Jesus was saying about Storing our Treasure in Heaven and not in our Houses where a Robber can break in and steal from us.

L. That's an interesting thought, but ... I'm not sure I'm feeling much better about what happened to me.

PJ. Maybe Jesus knew that his people could and sometimes would, Suffer losses in this life, and when That does happen--we might wonder where God is-- esp. when these losses affect us personally -- like losing something important to us...like our checkbook or a family heirloom.

L. .... or the little notebook I used to take notes on your sermon...its gone for good!! But Jesus must have wanted all his followers to have a broader view of our possessions. They are important for us in the here and now. But they can also be used for Glorifying our Heavenly Father – not that earthly Treasures contribute toward our eternal destiny.

PJ. That's sounds Lutheran to me!

L. Well, aside from a Lutheran Theological point, Maybe it's more important to consider that – even if someone can steal our Identity – like if someone gets a-hold of your Credit Card or gets into your Accts. Electronically; You are still who God made you to be.

PJ. That's reassuring on the Spiritual Level. But still, doesn't God care if you or me were to get Robbed or mugged or something?

L. Of course he cares! Like Jesus said, "If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into!" It would have been nice if God could have alerted my dogs to bark - they slept through the whole event!

PJ. I'd say Jesus did take some value on material possessions. No Doubt, he knew what things are worth....don't you think he was illustrating that we don't just allow our material possessions to be vulnerable to theft?

L. Yes, That's being a Good Steward, and "No:" As Jesus knew his audience was interested in preserving their Household Wealth – so he used this Illustration. But at the Same time, he was pointing to the Spiritual Household Wealth that we accumulate when we serve him faithfully.

PJ. Why do I feel Like I'm about to be clobbered by a Giant Purse!

L. Maybe because you're placing your Wealth in the Wrong Bank??

PJ. Possibly that's it. Maybe I've been thinking too much of what I can gain for myself. Like that Wealthy Guy Jesus' spoke of last week who built the Bigger Barns to store more of his treasure in – for himself!

L. You're Catching on. But I admit it too. It really hurt me to lose my purse and it hurt me even more when I thought of the person or persons who stole from me in the middle of the night while I was asleep. It feels very personal–like they pulled the Rug out from under my Life. It has been a very stressful week putting everything back together.

PJ. When someone else is so selfish to steal what is not theirs, that means they broke the Eighth Commandment....it's a violation of God's Law and that's a sin.

L. Sin has a way of taking us all down – not just the offender.

PJ. Good point. Guess we need to remember Whose We really Are.

L. Yes, I think Jesus wants us to remember we can Be The Strong Man or Strong Woman in our Homes . . . . We can Watch out for the younger ones ...and help them to remember they have a Heavenly Father–and a SAVIOR who is returning Soon to Call his Children unto himself. Faith is the Treasure that cannot be stolen.

PJ. I like that Thought. Kind of helps us remember where our True Treasure lies. And that we're not Alone here – even if a bandit steals something that belongs to us. . . they cannot take our HOPE IN CHRIST!

L. That is the GOOD NEWS. And we know we can wait patiently and diligently for Christ's Return. Even if it takes our whole lives. And we must always remember to be prepared for his return at that "unexpected hour."

PJ. We will do our best with all he's given us. This is the LIVING FAITH that No one can take away.

Let us Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, You are the WAY,. THE TRUTH and the LIFE. No one comes to Father except by You, for you are our Treasure and Savior. May we trust You in all Matters and not rely on Earthly wealth. Help us to remain watchful for your coming and to take the best care of each other and all you have entrusted to us. All for your Glory. Amen

Read more writings of Pastor Jon