‘No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.’
Before there were sophisticated tools to measure for intelligence, personality and emotional awareness, etc. there were wisdom sayings like the one from Jesus bolded above. I think it was author Kathleen Norris who once observed that so much of what Jesus taught was just good psychology. Jesus uses the term ‘treasures’ where we might more readily us the word ‘values’ to identify what motivates our everyday actions.
Can you identify at least three internal motivators that you carry? (examples might be, helpfulness, sharing, looking out for the trampled on, life, beauty, hospitality … there are plenty of others).
Do you have any idea how you came to have these ‘treasures’ ?
Matthew 13: (44-47), 51-52
(‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. )
‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’
The parable cluster that Jesus used (in parenthesis above) is about the discovery and sorting of our ‘treasures’.
This careful work is something almost everyone can do. Can you think of good values/treasures that have been passed down to you that you want to keep hold of?
At the same time can you identify any values/treasures for which you could use further training?
2 Peter 1:4-8
Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants in the divine nature. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Jason’s sermon on WAYfarers Tend God’s Garden he said that by planting things in the earth we are participating with God. There is a similar sentiment here (underlined) that we may become participants in the divine nature. There is also a kind of chain of connecting links (bolded) that ends with the divine nature of love.
If you were to place yourself somewhere in that chain of connecting links where would it be?
If Phil was correct in last Sunday’s sermon that Christian people represent a ‘co(n)-spiracy’ where might Marion Mennonite Church be on the connecting links towards the Divine nature?