Pause

“Lay up your treasures in heaven,

O people, lay up your treasures in glory where nothing in this world can take them away.”

O listen, people, hear the Master say, “Come and lay up your treasures in heaven.”

Pepper Choplin in “Lay Up Your Treasures in Heaven” (1996)

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Listen

Looking around, Jesus said to his disciples, “It will be very hard for the wealthy to enter God’s kingdom!” His words startled the disciples, so Jesus told them again, “Children, it’s difficult to enter God’s kingdom! It’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.”

They were shocked even more and said to each other, “Then who can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them carefully and said, “It’s impossible with human beings, but not with God. All things are possible for God.”

Mark 10:23-27

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Think

We live in a culture where the materialistic rich always seem to be the beneficiary of privilege. We are constantly confronted with the misperceptions that God, as well as the culture, grants privilege to persons of material and financial wealth. Jesus’ words here are as challenging for us to comprehend as they were for the disciples. Culture and church find it difficult to realize that God’s realm is concerned with issues of wealth and possessions, class and economic power.

Jesus’ analogy of the camel going through the eye of a sewing needle bears testimony to the challenge of attaining eternal life. It will be easier to take the camel through the needle’s eye than to let go of our wealth and possessions for the good of the Kingdom. But as Jesus says, for God it is possible.

Tom Baynham

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Pray

God, you manage to love and care for your children in spite of our stubbornness and selfishness. Remind me daily that my earthly possessions cannot offer me the joy and blessings of eternal life through your grace. Amen.

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Go

O people, lay up your treasures in glory.

Your treasures in this world will fade away, but the things of the Lord will last forevermore!

Tom Baynham

Tom Baynham is the Senior Pastor of the Friedens United Church of Christ in St. Charles, Missouri. A graduate of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and the Boston University School of Theology, Tom has served various congregations in choral music and congregational worship leading. When he isn’t rooting for the Braves or the Cowboys, he enjoys spending time when he can with his grandson, Teddy.

A Holy Moment

Ken Medema

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