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Thursday, November 7, 2013
Today’s Reading | Matthew 13:44–52
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (NRSV)
There’s a bit of context about this passage, from biblical scholars, that I’ve always liked. According to an ancient law, items left on property that was sold reverted to the seller. Take that idea into account and read Matthew 13:44 again: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.”
What is the man so excited about? After all, he is mistaken. The kingdom of heaven will not be his. Such is the grace of God. The more we pursue the idea of having it for ourselves, the more elusive it becomes. But in seeking not to have grace for ourselves but share it with others, its presence grows in our lives.
How many of us spend too much time wondering about God’s grace towards ourselves and too little time extending grace to others? Today make an effort to reverse that trend. Take time to be graceful toward someone else, and may the grace of God fill your life as well.
Gracious God, thank you for your grace and gifts. Help me to be less interested in gaining grace for myself and more interested in filling my life by giving grace to others. Amen.
Written by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor for Adult Education and Worship
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