Today’s scripture: Matthew 6:19-24 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Zier):

I have had the privilege of driving some pretty nice cars over the years, and it really gets me in trouble.

My favorite was a Volkswagon Phaeton I owned from 2004 to 2007. When I started seminary, it has needed some major warranty repair work. Of course, this means it spent a lot of time in the shop. When a new transmission and cooler were installed, and even under warranty I had to pay quite a bit. When I would get my car back the last time, I would say to Jeff, “That’s it! I’m getting rid of it. I’m sick of this dealer and the issues with this car!”

Then as I would drive around in it, I would remember why I love the car so much, and forget the frustrating days. Ah! I just relax and hit the gas pedal and hear that engine purr like a cat. And AH!, all of my techno gadgets the car has to offer — I love them! And then I tell myself quietly, “But, David, IT’S JUST A CAR! … A CAR!” And then verse 21 comes to mind, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Well, I guess my heart must be in the trunk of my car!

Thinking about this makes me realize just how much I do spend on the treasures on earth. I am not just talking about money here, because there are many things that we do with our time and thoughts to store up treasures on earth. Don’t get me wrong — we all have things we like to do, collect, and admire. But sometimes, and probably more often than we may realize, it can get a little out of hand.

Now that we are at a season of the year where many think about all of the holiday gifts dancing under Christmas trees and all that rich food on holiday buffets, there’s even more earthly treasures we delve into. Today’s scripture can bring us back to reality really fast. But, before we get too carried away into the earthly holiday habits, we can make sure we are storing up treasures in heaven during the holiday season.

Am I setting aside lots of time for holiday shopping and parties, and giving up time communicating with God? Am I seeking my will and wants and desires in earthly possessions, and not what God wants for my life during this holiday season? Am I more concerned about getting to the finish line, or about spreading the love of Christ to others I meet in the crowded parking lots and stores? Am I too much in a hurry to worry about helping someone in need? Will we hot rod and cut people off in the parking lot, or will we be patient and let someone else have the closer parking spot or be courteous and let someone cut in front of us in the heavy holiday traffic?

I need to remind myself: “The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”

Thought for the day: Where is my heart? Where is my treasure?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.