Matthew 6:1-6,16-21 (GNT)
From verse 19 onwards..
“Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are.
All that she had owned blew away as fine ash, as winds swept through the devastation left behind from the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires in the Adelaide hills. At that time, her grieving left her numb and empty. Trauma ran deep, almost drowning her spirit in depression and anxiety. The absence of items as triggers for cherished memories worried her so much that she developed distorted images of what she had actually owned. As a survivor, who was trapped at home and had saved animals, she had to relive the trauma numerous times as she assisted the government bodies in how she has managed and problem solved for hours, moving her flock and horses throughout the fire. She watched neighbours in previously loving relationships, break from each other. Exhaustion in all areas of her life left her completely spent. As an independent, well-educated newly married couple, she and her husband had to learn the gift of humility in asking for support and receiving generosity from others. She and he made their choice on riches.
Her great fortune is in living life. She and her husband faced the trauma with all that it brought so that their relationship has grown into one of life-giving love, making their marriage ‘home’. She travelled through the trauma to right thinking and good mental health. She values her physically health and wellbeing and accomplishes what she wishes to do for self and for others. Her soul has learnt to be at peace, so that rest and sleep brings a wealth of refreshment – great treasures indeed.
Jesus’ statements were about healthier spiritual choices that offer community focused living. It takes a great deal of spiritual, mental and physical energy to worry about what others think and about situations which you cannot change. So, value what you have before you, and what you can do wherever you are, what you can truly ‘hold’ in your soul – that is where your treasures will shine.
Gracious and gentle One,
In my being, let me cherish my riches.
In my loving, let me cherish my riches.
In my thinking, let me share my riches.
In my doing, let me share my riches.
Awaken me to where my riches truly are… amen, amen, amen.
As one body of Christ, let us pray from Psalm 51 that has been sounded through the ages:
Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love.
Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins!
Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin!
I recognize my faults; I am always conscious of my sins.
Sincerity and truth are what you require; fill my mind with your wisdom.
Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me.
Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach sinners your commands, and they will turn back to you.
Spare my life, O God, and save me, and I will gladly proclaim your righteousness.
Help me to speak, Lord, and I will praise you.
You do not want sacrifices, or I would offer them; you are not pleased with burnt offerings.
My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.
© Rev Anne Hewitt, 17/02/2021
this reflection & prayer may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.