From the Pastor: July 26

Question of the Week:  When was the last time you searched for something like your life depended on it?  

What is the Kingdom of God worth?

I am preparing to go on a break with my family this weekend. Due to the pandemic, the entire family will not be able to be together. I imagine many of you are experiencing similar things. What a strange time we are in. Still, God’s wisdom and patient love will guide us through this.  

When I read the Gospel for this week, I could not help but think of my own father, who is an avid stamp collector. One of his special interests are stamps that have flaws or small errors in them.  Many years ago, he got very excited. He was viewing some newly minted stamps that commemorated the Olympics in Munich and this is what he found:

Do you notice anything unusual?  

Look at the rings.

Well, he was very excited, for if you look closely, there is a flaw, an error: the red ring is not closed.  

This error was only found on some of the printed stamps. He narrowed it down to which particular batch of printed stamps had it, and then he sent us all off to buy stamps at all the post offices in the local area. I remember how both strange and exciting it was to go to the postmaster and ask for a particular block of stamps. We would get the funny lookbut would end up with the “treasure” my father was seeking.  

Now, dad was not going to sell the house for these stamps, but we did buy quite a few of them since often such stamps could end up being collector items whose value far exceeded the printed value of the stamp.  

What I remember most was the excitement of the search and the joy of finding that which no one else seemed to see or know about.  

That is what Jesus was describing in our parables this weekend about the Kingdom of God.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”

 

Notice in these parables the element of personal quest and discovery and that what is sought is hidden or not known to the general public, which makes it all the more exciting. Finally—the response of the one who has found the treasure or pearl of great price is complete. They give ALL they have to own the treasure or the pearland that is what it is like to find the Kingdom of God! 

It is worth all we have!

I pray and hope we are excited about our faith, quest, and path our faith puts us on. God’s Kingdom is real but often hidden from sight. One has to look for it, search for it.  It may not be so easy to find, and, for some, it might take a long time even if it is in plain view. 

Grace guides us!  

If we truly have found it, we will be happy to give all we have for it.  

And while the parable was not focused on this aspect of God’s Kingdom, we can say that God wants everyone to discover it. If we have found the Kingdom, we will want to share it and invite others into the quest.  

We have all faced serious challenges during this pandemic and no doubt more to come, but the quest to see God and to enter forever God’s Kingdom never stops. I want to encourage everyone to keep your faith and to keep seeking God each day.

I want to encourage everyone to be generous with God. God gives us an eternal treasure, and we naturally are invited to join in giving of ourselves to God. Keep giving of yourselves to love, to support the work of God’s Kingdom at St Thomas and everywhere you are through prayer, the gift of your daily sacrifices of time and talent, and treasure. And while we face difficult challenges, we do so together.  

Also as a reminder, while we need your financial support, the Diocese also needs your help.  We keep receiving DSA pledges (thank you!), and are now less than $50,000 dollars away from goal. Discover the joy of giving (which is intrinsic to God’s Kingdom) and give to DSA.

God bless you!

Fr Bill