For any of us who are pack rats by nature, today's text hammers us. I despair in my materialistic "hunter gatherer" habits and consequences. Matthew 6:19-20 reverberates through our guilty souls. What treasures do we seek, earthly or heavenly? Law and Gospel continue to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. Does Christianity proclaim, "Materialism is bad; spirituality is good?" God called His creation good. Scripture speaks of evil spirits. Discerning stewards realize in order to fully say "yes" to the right choices, one must say "no" to temptations which detract or destroy our resolve.
I recommend the reading of verses 12-14 of Colossians 3, with its listing of the right choices of what to put on daily. Somehow, it reminds me of the TV program, "Say Yes to the Dress!" For the Church to be the Bride of Christ, the transforming beauty of being loved is more than skin deep.
Lord, most of us feel more like Aldonza in "Man of La Mancha" than the vision of Dulcinea seen by Don Quixote. Through your amazing love and grace, help us to start living "The Impossible Dream" of heaven on earth. Amen.
Colossians 3:1-14 (NRSV)
1 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,
3 for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).
6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.
7 These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.
8 But now you must get rid of all such things--anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices
10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.
11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
12 As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.