Although much of Gospel music speaks of heaven and the next life, in the parables Jesus told we learn how God’s reign really comes on earth as it is in heaven. What would it look like for God to reign in your life? What would it take for you to become a living expression of God’s Realm on earth? And how can that happen?
Well, in the middle of that litany of parables there is one that may give us a clue. Jesus said that the Reign of God was like a treasure hidden in a field. Notice that the one who discovered it went immediately and bought the field.
My friends, church, worship, and singing might not bring you into the presence of God, or bring God’s reign fully into your life, but it might be the field in which the treasure is hidden. We will never know until we invest ourselves, giving our whole being to obtain this “pearl of great price.”
The Hebrews were not a seafaring people, so pearls were more precious to them than diamonds. Jesus is trying to say to us that, until we find something we value more than success, or pleasure, or prosperity, our lives will forever be out of order.
If, however, we find a way for God to reign in our lives, all the rest will fall into place, not just for us but for those around us. So long as WE hold central place then we end up with a society that is so self-absorbed that:
- Drivers don’t care who they inconvenience so long as it is not them.
- Politicians don’t care who loses health care because they aren’t going to lose theirs.
- When nothing is more valuable than us, we don’t have the time, energy, or passion to really change systems of injustice and inequality for others.
Such narcissism makes us willing to behave in ways that poison others and the environment with no awareness. This is why the first commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, because if we fail to get that cornerstone in the right place nothing else quite fits.
Worship is how we realign our lives each week; the question is WHO will we worship?
Rev. Michael Piazza