Matthew 3:11-17 (From The Message)
Children, and others, love a treasure hunt!
On Easter Sunday for many years chocolate eggs have been hidden in our garden – if Easter is early and it’s cold outside, they are hidden in the house and in the afternoon family and visitors are invited to find them: sadly now, once we’ve found one, we are encouraged to stop! Years ago the eggs were smaller and you could hopefully end up with several!
What do we really value?
I guess if the house was alight and everyone was safe it would be one or two family photos that I would try to rescue – although there are one or two old family things that I would miss.
When one is ordained priest, we are instructed among other things to remember how great a treasure is committed to our charge. Is it the Bible; the church; or our Ministry?
No – it’s you – you people of God who are the treasure Priests are committed to care for... you!
We don’t always feel like treasure do we?
We may feel fragile, wounded, and isolated.
Sometimes we go around with wounds.
Do we recognise where our own woundedness is?
What makes us cross, or even fly off the handle – or retreat into our shell?
Where do we feel inadequate?
Sometimes treasured items have to be repaired.
Perhaps the treasure that is us needs careful repairing; needs to be healed and made whole.
Perhaps the treasure that is us needs taking out of storage, and being set free to fulfill the purpose we were made for – to delight the creator.
Perhaps the treasure that is you and me; each person here and each person we come into contact with this week; people at work, or peeople we know and meet at the shops or over the fence – perhaps that treasure needs, more than anything else, to be treated like treasure.
Can we get it into our heads and hearts that we are more than merely acceptable to God?
That God delights in us, and loves us beyond measure?
That he longs to heal us (repair us).
That we are God’s Treasure?
If we feel we sometimes get nothing right can we come afresh to Jesus anyway?
He looks at you and me and sees treasure.
God wants to mend us, heal us, make us whole and set us free.
Those Baptised in our service yesterday evening had, in a sense, come to the Lord Jesus afresh and promised as far as they could to continue to follow Him for the rest of their lives.
As our reading reminds us, Jesus ignites His kingdom life within us, the Holy Spirit within us changing us from the inside out, making a clean sweep of our lives.
When Jesus himself was baptised by John, the Holy Spirit filled Him afresh and a voice was heard “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life”.
As Baptised Christians, we have the Holy Spirit, helping us to follow Jesus – yes, He is God’s Son; a delight of God the Father’s life, but we too are God’s treasure; His sons and daughters; loved and very precious to Him.