For Where Your Treasure Is,
There Your Heart Will Be Also
by HW in HI
based on Mat. 6:1-6, 16-21
What powerful words. We only have to hear them to know that weve fallen short of
the glory of God.
Right now, in my family, we are looking at buying a house. And when I hear the words,
where your treasure is, there your heart will be also I imagine myself getting
confused, and thinking that my treasure is in having a nice house..
Or Ill give you an even better example. A friend of mine on Oahu, Joe Carr, is
running the Alpha Bible study for his Episcopal church in Kaneohe. I dont envy him
running it. What I envy is that hes getting 100 people on a week night to show up,
week after week, to learn the word of God. And I am forced to ask myself, Do I
treasure building up a church so others will see it and think, What a fine pastor!
or do I treasure serving God faithfully whatever the circumstances?
Lent is a good time to ask ourselves, Where is my treasure? An honest
answer will always show us how we can go about improving our spiritual lives, how we can
go about opening ourselves to Gods presence in our lives.
Do we treasure our house? Maybe. Is that really where we want our hearts to be? Do we
treasure fine jewels or paintings? Perhaps we treasure our cars or our trucks? Our books?
Our music? How about our computers? Perhaps we treasure our jobs. Maybe we treasure our
toys, a new dress, a cool computer game.
Jesus said, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and
rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures
in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and
Today we enter the season of Lent. A time for us to think about where it is weve
stored up our treasure. A time for us to think about storing up a bit of treasure in
heaven, instead of our usual place.
Lent is traditionally a time of prayer, of fasting and of almsgiving. The purpose is
not so we can say, See how I pray! Or Look at me, Im fasting.
Or Wow, Im giving up dessert so I can give food to the hungry. When we
pray, and fast and give alms it has everything to do with our relationship with God, and
not so much to do with other people seeing what great Christians we are. Jesus said, when
you do these things, dont do them so you can make a big deal about it all, but do
them secretly so your Father in heaven will know.
In a little bit we will put ashes on our foreheads, as a way of starting Lent, and
reminding ourselves that we need to pay attention to just where it is that we put our
treasure. And it has everything to do with changing where we put our treasure. The point
is not so that everyone we see will know we are Christians observing Lent. In fact, this
morning you will find a box of tissue at the door of the church. Feel free to wipe off the
ashes as you leave:
Jesus said, Whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they
disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they
have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so
that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your
Father who sees in secret will reward you.