Tenth Day of Easter   10 comments

Nicodemus Statue, by Giovanni Angelo Del Maino

Where Your Treasure Is…

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Acts 4:32-37 (Revised English Bible):

The whole company of believers was united in heart and soul.   Not one of them claimed any of his possessions as his own; everything was held in common.  With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and all were held in high esteem.  There was never a needy person among them, because those who had property in land or houses would sell it, bring the proceeds of the sale, and lay them at the feet of the apostles to be distributed to any who were in need.  For instance Joseph, surnamed by the apostles Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”), a Levite and by birth a Cypriot, sold an estate which he owned; he brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Psalm 93 (Revised English Bible):

The LORD has become King, clothed with majesty;

the LORD is robed, girded with might.

The earth is established from of old;

from all eternity you are God.

LORD, the great deep lifts up,

the deep lifts up its voice;

the deep lifts up its crashing waves.

Mightier than the sound of great waters,

mightier than the breakers of the sea,

mighty on high is the LORD.

Your decrees stand firm,

and holiness befits your house,

LORD, throughout the ages.

John 3:7-15 (Anchor Bible):

[Jesus continued,]

…Do not be surprised that I told you: you must be begotten from above.  The wind blows about at will; you hear the sound it makes but do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone begotten of the Spirit.

Nicodemus replied,

How can things like this happen?

Jesus answered,

You hold the office of teacher of Israel, and still you don’t understand these things?  I solemnly assure you, we are talking about what we know, and we are testifying to what we have seen; but you people do not accept our testimony.  If you do not believe when I tell you about earthly things, how are you going to believe when I tell you about heavenly things?  Now, no one has gone up into heaven except the one who came down from heaven–the Son of Man [who is in heaven].  And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him….

The Collect:

O Lord, you have saved us through the Paschal mystery of Christ: Continue to support your people with heavenly gifts, that we may attain true liberty, and enjoy the happiness of heaven which we have begun to taste on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

++++++++++++++

People matter more than possessions, money, and status.

I think of the example of St. Laurence, Deacon at Rome in the Third Century C.E.  When Roman imperial officials demanded that he turn over the treasures of the church, he pointed not to money and material goods, but to the sick and the poor.  They were the treasures of the church, he said.  The Roman Empire martyred St. Laurence.

The Second Person of the Trinity took on human form to suffer and die, and to identity with human beings.  This was an example of assuming lower status.

Some first-generation Christians banded together for mutual spiritual, material, and financial support.  (I can almost hear Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh condemning their practice as Socialism and social justice.  Well, it was, and the author of Luke-Acts approved of it.  And what is wrong with social justice, a major Biblical theme?  This theme is more prominent that sexuality, in fact.)  These early Christians valued each other more than their possessions.  They understood that they could not take their stuff with them to the afterlife.  These early Christians loved their neighbors as themselves.

That sounds consistent with the teachings of Jesus.

In 1967, when he denounced the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King, Jr., criticized the United States for having a “thing-oriented” society which emphasized profit motives and property rights, not a “person-oriented” society which stressed justice.  His point remains at least as relevant today as it was then.  May we value people more than things.  May we recognize the image of God in others and act accordingly, however that works in our circumstances.  And may we make clear that we are doing this for the sake of others and the glory of God.  May we follow the example and teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.

KRT

Published originally at SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on April 6, 2010

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: