Searching for Treasure

 

Theme: Where is your treasure? Proper 14 (19) Yr. C
Object: You could use a treasure chest, a treasure map, a copy of the book "Treasure Island" or "Muppet Treasure Island" video.
Scripture: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:33-34 (NIV)

Have you ever been to a party where they played a Treasure Hunt game? It is great fun! The game is played by giving each player a list of clues which, if followed correctly, will lead them to find a "treasure." Many times the treasure is just a cheap toy or a piece of candy, so when you play the game, it is important to remember that the fun is in the hunt, not in the "treasure."

Hunting for treasure is something that has interested people for a long, long time. Treasure Island is one of the most popular books ever written. Written by Robert Louis Stevenson, it has been enjoyed by boys, girls, and even grownups ever since it was written way back in the 1800s. It is a story filled with mystery and adventure about a young man named Jim Hawkins who finds a map in a pirate's sea chest and begins a search for buried treasure. If you haven't read the book, perhaps you have seen the movie Muppet Treasure Island which is based on the book.

You might be surprised to know that Jesus had something to say about seeking treasure. One day he said to his followers, "Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." (Luke 12:33-34 NLT)

So, how do we lay up treasures in heaven as Jesus said we should? We do it by taking our eyes off of our own selfish wants, and look at others and their needs. We give to the poor, we help those in need, we love others as we love ourselves. Those are things that will build treasures in heaven and there is nothing that can take them away.

Playing a Treasure Hunt game is fun and books about pirates and hidden treasure may make for exciting reading, but building treasure in heaven is very serious business. Let's ask God to help us to search for the right kind of treasure.

Father, we sometimes look at all the treasures that this world offers and we lose sight of what you want from us. Help us to serve you by helping others and, in so doing, build our treasure chest in heaven. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.