I woke up early this morning. Like 4:30 AM-kind-of-early. I hate it when that happens. I fought it for an hour and a half before finally accepting the reality of my situation. More sleep was not in my immediate future. So I got up. Made coffee and oatmeal. And climbed back in bed to read this book by Gary Molander.
Bare with me as I summarize:
Gary starts talking about the parable of the treasure and the field (Matt. 13:43-44). You know, the one where a man finds treasure in a field. Buries it. Sells everything he has. Buys the field. Keeps the treasure forever. The one that I've always thought was supposed to remind me that the Kingdom of God is the most valuable treasure I could ever find so I should be willing to sell everything else I have so that I can keep it forever. Gary puts it this way, "Our application is that we need to sacrifice whatever it takes to acquire the Kingdom of God. It's a treasure in a field, waiting for us to possess it. Pushed to its logical conclusion, we buy the Kingdom of God."
Wait. What? That's not right. We can't buy the Kingdom of God, can we? Gary says maybe we've mis-applied what Jesus was saying. So he puts the parable back in its context, at the end of a bunch of other parables describing the nature of God's Kingdom. The sower. The weeds. The mustard seed. In all these examples, God is the man slash farmer slash landowner. Humans are represented by the thing that is dormant (the soil slash seed) until life (the Gospel) is infused into it. The pattern is repeated over and over. God offers Life. We chose to accept it and grow, or refuse it and die. But that's the only part we play. God always makes the first move.
Until the parable of the treasure. That's when we decide to make ourselves the main character of the story. That's when we decide it's our turn to make the move. Gary says we should hold our horses. We should keep the story in context. We should continue the pattern.
God (the man slash farmer slash landowner) finds a field. We (the soil slash seeds) are dormant treasure. He finds us and "in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." That's the Gospel. Everything He has. He hangs on a cross for treasure in a field. And He's overjoyed at the thought of it.
Duh. Thanks, Gary, for helping me see the obvious!
And thank you, Father for constantly reminding me that I'm your segullah. Your treasure in a field. Infused with your Life. Amen.