In Matthew 6:19 Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Hence, the call for all people everywhere to aspire not to the trappings of material wealth and power but to something greater. So, what is this greater treasure we need to desire?
Jesus answers, “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Thus, Jesus is implying that the only permanent treasures are those you can store up for heaven. Therefore, where do we find these treasures we can store in Heaven?
The place that I find these treasures is in my personal relationships with other people I encounter. From my family and friends to my work colleagues, students and parents the key is my personal interaction and how I witness the gospel message that Jesus proclaimed. Furthermore, daily reflecting on my words and actions through prayer and scripture and how they resonate with gospel values which underpinned Jesus’s teachings. Consequently, I use these key indicators to build a platform for my store of treasures.
Jesus also defines another way of storing my treasures in heaven. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 6:21. The question I have is do my interactions with others, my work and passions demonstrate that I am living the Gospel? Now, if the answer to that question is yes then I am storing my treasures in heaven. Nevertheless, I believe my storing of treasures in heaven is continuing to evolve and remains a work in progress.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:51. So how do we eat the bread of life?
I believe I nourish the bread of life with my family when I share table fellowship with them. The general chatter, the laughter and the challenging issues we converse with each other about our everyday life, provides a listening ear, some insight and wisdom and trust. Thus, feeding the positive relationships which encourage us to be confident in our words and actions daily.
Moreover, my friends who nourish my self-esteem. They are with me sharing my passions and interests which delights me and makes those experiences all the more special. They are also with me in the hard times coming to visit me with a word or gift that makes me feel better about the situation. No matter what, I can always trust them whether I chat about the challenges I face ahead to the successes that I have achieved. It is always good to know they are there consoling me when I feel frustrated and building me up when I do well.
Finally, I am nourished by my Church Community. I pray and celebrate my faith through listening to the word, eating the bread and drinking the wine that sustains me for the week ahead. It is great to rejoice in your faith with other people who have similar beliefs. Additionally, it is wonderful to know that I worship a God who loves me unconditionally, Jesus his son, who sacrificed his life for all humanity and a Spirit that inspires me to use my gifts to continue proclaiming the Gospel.
In John 6:26, Jesus says, to the Crowd, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of loaves.” Sometimes, I think we can become consumed by the experience and how it relates to us personally rather than reflecting on the purpose of the words and actions of others and the events that occurred. In this case the Crowd inferred by Jesus were hoping to be physically gratified but what Jesus was offering went beyond that.
So, the question is, was the Crowd really being superficial or were they there because they believed Jesus would proclaim a message l that when making significant choices would provide them with a greater purpose in lives? Also, is it that we always look for good experiences to sustain us? I often feel we learn more from the challenges we experience each day than doing the things we want to do. I believe I give more of myself when faced with difficulties. Additionally, I call on others to assist me to overcome these issues. Hence, I by continuing to make the hard choices and with the help of key people in my life I can achieve positive outcomes as they give meaning and purpose to my life.
Moreover, as Jesus says do not work for food that perishes, but for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” John 6:27. Thus, there is more to life than material items that eventually have passed their used by date. Granted, they can bring us joy but it is only in the short term because eventually you want to upgrade to the latest model. Therefore, I can’t be seduced into allowing my meaning and purpose of life to be driven by attaining these material items. However, Jesus offers us a meaning and a purpose through his Gospel values that give us spiritual food that will not only sustain us in this life but the next.