By Brooke Holt
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” The Collect, Proper 21, Book of Common Prayer (p.234)
The other evening, I watched a show with my daughter in which an adult group of friends went on a well-orchestrated and quite humorous treasure hunt. Each team had a totally different experience seeking out the final treasure. One team, obsessed with winning, did not seem to find any joy in the process. Another team delighted in solving the riddles and working together; yet another team found a mutual love of Neil Diamond and sang their way through the hunt (this team had the most fun!). I found the ending comical. When the treasure hunt ended, each person realized he or she was the winner as each of them had a gold coin in their pocket throughout the entire hunt.
We find joy in a treasure hunt and even greater joy in finding the treasure at the end. Our Collect for today indicates you and I already have access to the heavenly treasures of God. We are daily recipients of his mercy and pity. We have all the benefits of his promises to us, and we have the fullness of his grace available to us. Our eternal home is secure and awaiting us with all the glory of heaven.
Just as each team had the treasure within his or her own pockets so you and I have God’s treasure within us through the Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit is the seal on us, our guarantee that every one of God’s promises holds true for us, that he is working and leading, and that one day we will have full access to the heavenly treasure. The greatest treasure will be God himself and living in his presence for eternity.
The question each of us may ponder is do we live as partakers of God’s heavenly treasure or do we keep seeking frantically, wondering if we will ever get there, and find what we need? The Lord delights in sharing his treasure with you. He has an abundance of mercy, pity, and grace. The Lord abounds in steadfast love for you. He is the giver of all good gifts, and he is the heavenly Father who longs to provide for you, demonstrate his love and power, and bless you.
Do you know what you have in Christ? Are you accessing his heavenly treasures each day? You are his son/his daughter. You are his beloved. As such, he invites you to run, sing, dance – whatever delights your heart in seeking his treasure. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Christmas is the festival of rejoicing at Christ’s first coming—the beautiful, unlikely start of our salvation! As the season ends each year, we pack up the decorations. Advent, on the other hand, is a bigger celebration—one we can’t box up and store in the attic. It celebrates the grace of Christ’s first coming, and then it reaches with restless anticipation for the fuller grace of his second appearing and the completion of our salvation! For 28 days, celebrate Advent. In Prepare the Way, join with St. Paul, King David the Psalmist, Zechariah, Gabriel, Mary, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist, along with the crowds as they rejoiced in the good news of Christmas, and then look beyond it for the holiday that never ends!
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