Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
One of my all-time favorite short stories is about a Rabbi from Krakow who had a recurring dream that, under a bridge in Prague, was buried treasure. One day, he decided to seek that treasure. The Rabbi found the bridge in Prague, It was heavily guarded. After a short while, a guard questioned the Rabbi.The Rabbi explained about the dream and the buried treasure. The guard broke out in mocking laughter! “If I believed dreams like that, I would be traveling to Krakow, digging up the floor of some Rabbi’s house. I have dreams that there’s treasure in such a place!”
The Rabbi quickly returned home, and sure enough, there was treasure, buried in his own home all along. As the dream promised, the Rabbi was now independently wealthy.
Of course this story isn’t literally about “finding buried treasure of monetary value” It’s a parable about recognizing what you have in your own home, right here, right now. We sometimes get so used to home, we sometimes take our real treasures of love and joy for granted. We sometimes look elsewhere and envy how much better it is “someplace else.” We even resort to complaining, murmuring, and whining about what we don’t have, forgetting what we do have.
I think one of the best descriptions of our God is: GIVER. God gives all that we need for a fulfilled life. In Christ Jesus, God is also being given to us. Jesus gave us the church, a fellowship, even a collection of churches working and serving together. We’re not at our best when we point to ourselves and brag about the great things we do for God. No, we’re at our best when we do great things and point to Jesus.
Just where IS Jesus today? Do we really need to search far and wide for the greatest treasure God has given us? The old saying is an admonition: “the grass is always greener on the other side.” Too often we think so, and it is not so.
So, we need to pause, and pray, and recognize the presence of God, of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit, right where we are. Right here. Right now. The love, the joy, the grace, the peace, the hope, Jesus himself, is right where we are. We may need to stop a certain sinful behavior to really experience the divine presence, and God is always sending us signs reminding us when we’re doing what is wrong. God is always sending us signs when we’re doing what is right. Being aware of what God wants of us is important!
By the way, I am NOT suggesting that it’s wrong to move on or go different places on your life’s journey. Most of us have done that at sometime or another. The message is, more simply: once you are settled in for the day, God’s love, in Christ Jesus is your greatest treasure. You need not seek him elsewhere. Jesus is here, right now. And that’s no dream!