Friday, May 23, 2008

For Sunday May 25 - Dying for Citizenship

Matthew 6:19-34
Philippians 3:17-21

For several weeks, since Easter in fact, we've been looking at what it means to live on the "other side of resurrection." After all, life is supposed to be different, fuller, more zesty if we are resurrection people - right? So we've been exploring why that isn't always the case and what needs to change or mature in us so that the life Jesus modeled is more of a reality than a pipe dream.
I've normally heard this week's passage preached or studied as a way to get people to give more, and not waste on selfishness. That's probably part of it, but it falls short of the more substantial point Jesus was making: Use your resources for things that last; eternal things. In the long run, we'll be happy we did and we will enjoy them so much more. Still, we lack a lot of creativity when it comes to living out this principle of citizenship in the Kingdom. We keep thinking in terms of giving our money. But "storing up treasure in heaven" means a lot more than that. What are come creative ways we can do this "storing" of our treasure? What might that look like? And how does the Church play into it? Is there something to be learned from the way the Israelites brought their offerings into the temple and then had feasts and celebrations, and shared the abundance with the rich and the poor alike? Ideas? - Curtis


  1. Bible
    Strongbox with vital papers
    Family photos

  2. Kaitlynn says:
    "I would get my blankets and I would get my stuffed animals and I would get a couple other blankets to keep me warm. And that's about it."

  3. Noah says:
    "I do that too (what Kaitlynn said) and piggy."

  4. Funny, I'm trying to think of things I would get but I keep thinking of reasons I don't need to. IE: Family photos - most of our family has copies or they are on disk. Guitar - replaceable (but I REALLY like that one!). Our important papers and documents are in a lock box - fireproof. Kaitlynn's baby photos are irreplaceable so I'd try and get that box, and our wedding album. I'd definately try and grab the few pictures I have of my dad. I can't really think of anything I'd be willing to risk my life for that I can't live without in this house (people aside but they are already safe). The biggest loss would be the house itself and its history.

  5. In regards to your question about storing our treasure in heaven. I think we can learn something from the Isrealites. How cool would it be to have a huge feast like that modern day? Make a big lunch of BBQ or sandwiches, salads, sodas and set up a table on the Waterfront for whomever wants or needs food. Place a sign somewhere saying something to the effect of "From God".

    I heard somewhere that the early Jewish faith would have their Sunday meals with the door open in case a hungry stranger came by. I like that idea, too.

    I think part of storing our treasure is using our spiritual gifts the way God intended us to. We "donate" our gifts to the church in whatever way we can. We donate our time to the community. We pass these things and beliefs down to our children. We continue to be a light in a dark world to our friends and co-workers. Sometimes we are just a shoulder to lean on or a friendly ear. The money aspect helps our church financially for repairs, community outreach, paying the pastor ;-), etc. Our gifts (spiritual) and our time and our fellowship are the Big Picture.

  6. Ward says:
    (post sermon)
    There is a lot to consider in today's message. What we value in this world is not very important in God's kingdom. It's so hard to comprehend what the kingdom is, or should be like. Our culture in 21st century America dosen't even give us a frame of refrence to understand what the term "kingdom" meant to the Gospel writers. Kingdoms always reflected the character of the monarch, good or bad, we've never endured a bad king, or enjoyed a good one in this society. Since all that I have known in my life is a democracy, with the freedoms and liberty that we enjoy, it's hard to relate to how people felt about living under the rule of a king.
    It's good to consider how we can best use our government rebate checks(if they ever arrive)to minister to our community, but I still struggle with trying to apply cash to kingdom values. What is of value in the kingdom? Certainly not money. Love, servanthood, suffering (see last weeks message)compassion, fellowship, nothing that I could rescue from my burning house. I don't have a conclusion to draw, just more to think about I guess.


Thanks for posting!