Matthew 6:19-21 (NRSV)
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust[b] consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21 (The Voice)
19 Some people store up treasures in their homes here on earth. This is a shortsighted practice—don’t undertake it. Moths and rust will eat up any treasure you may store here. Thieves may break into your homes and steal your precious trinkets. 20 Instead, put up your treasures in heaven where moths do not attack, where rust does not corrode, and where thieves are barred at the door. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I love the way The Voice identifies storing up treasures on earth as a shortsighted practice. It is shortsighted because it does not allow for the vision of God to impact your life.
This may be one of the most significant teachings we need to hear during the Christmas season. From the greatest to the least, I am guessing that we all struggle with the driving commercial nature of Christmas. As people of faith, we want to fully celebrate the season but we need to find some space for Jesus to really be the reason for the season.
So, how can we ‘store up treasures in heaven’ so our lives become centered on fulfilling our goal of loving God and loving others in extraordinary ways? How can we balance the bright paper of the season with the swaddling clothes of the Christ child?
I am guessing you have some ideas already! You don’t need someone to tell you how to create this balance but you may need someone to simply give you permission to make it happen for your life.
For me, this teaching always reminds me that our task as Christians is to invest in things that are eternal. The love of God, the mission of Christ in the world, and the needs of people will always serve as a bridge to bring our thinking back into alignment with the Eternal One who gives us life.