A Worthwhile Reign to wash out pettiness
Why do we pastors beat people over the heads with Bible passages, hoping that our precepts, propositions, and systems will somehow lead to their obedience? I’d like to suggest that Jesus did it a different way. One of my favorite stories Jesus tells is the one about a guy who goes out to look at a field he’s considering buying. While there he discovered a buried treasure in the field, and when he uncovers the treasures and realizes it’s value, he buries it, goes and sells everything he has, and with his liquidated assets he buys the field.
The story is one of the most important ones in the Bible because it reminds us that if we find something we value, we’ll invest in it. I think many Christians are stuck in low level living, either preoccupied with some trinket that has, over time mutated into an addiction (television, porn, x-box, getting rich, ___??), or simply being bored – alone – alienated. Either way, it seems to me the problem is that we’ve not yet uncovered the treasure in the field. The Christian life is nothing more than a set of bland precepts. Such a perspective won't get us very far.
Today, while studying in preparation for my sermon on Sunday, God gave me a fresh glimpse of the treasure. We who know Christ are invited to embody the hope, beauty, justice, mercy, and transforming power of His Kingdom reign – right here and right now. This looks different for different people, and varies from geography to geography, but the calling is there for all of us. Step into the reign of Christ and begin to get involved in what He’s doing. The story Jesus told reminds us that, if we really see the kingdom, and see its value, we’ll be willing to make all other interests subservient to that great treasure.
As I am studying today up in a room in Canada, my window looks out on a bay between this island and Vancouver Island. The wind had been howling all day, and just I was reading about the lion lying down with the lamb, my eye caught a bald eagle gliding across the sky in huge circles. Such glory – such play – such a foretaste of the beauty that will transform the whole created order when Christ’s reign is fully realized. Until then, I want to cast my lot and invest my resources in seeing His reign made visible in some small measure right where I live. And this endeavor evicts pettiness, wasted time and whining, almost automatically. Have you seen the treasure of God’s reign lately? I hope so… it’ll change you forever!