October 17, 2008 - Friday of the 21st Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 15:19-16:22; Matthew 13:44-58

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field…The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls….The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind….” (Matthew 13:44,45,47).

The reign of God is hidden, like buried treasure. You can’t see it, but you hear it’s there. And believing the Word that reveals it, it’s worth literally “buying the farm” to possess it.

The reign of God is seeking, like a merchant searching for that one perfect pearl, which, as soon as he finds it, he sells everything he has to own it.

The reign of God is universal, a dragnet that pulls everything ashore, the good and the bad.

Jesus’ death and resurrection is the hidden treasure, buried in the soil of this world, revealed by the Word like a treasure map. “X” marks the spot, and that spot is Calvary, a blood stained cross and an innocent death. You are that priceless pearl He seeks. You are literally “to die for.” In restless pursuit of you, Jesus sold all that He had to purchase and win you, “not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood and His innocent suffering and death.” You have been caught in the net of Jesus’ death, as He was cast into the depths of death to save you, bringing you and the whole creation through death to resurrection in His own body.

This hidden, seeking, universal kingdom is the kingdom the Church is given to proclaim to the world, like someone at a yard sale laying out the household treasures old and new. This hidden kingdom is revealed by the Word, in Baptism, in the Supper, where the buried treasure of Jesus’ death is made known to sinners. This seeking King seeks you, paid the priceless price for you, purchased and won you to make you His own. This kingdom extends to the ends of the earth, to all nations, to as many as Jesus died for as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

I love Your kingdom, Lord

The place of Your abode,

The Church our blest Redeemer saved

With His own precious blood.

(Lutheran Service Book #651:1)