The print was of a tiger-striped cat draped across a table, it’s ears back, its yellow eyes gleaming. The frame was cheap, the glass glaring. Her mother had bought it at a yard sale years before she had died, but the daughter didn’t much like cats. So, she tossed it onto the back porch, where it sat, gathering dust, for fifteen years. Then, the Antique Road Show came to town, and on a whim, she picked up the print, dusted it off, and trotted it over to have it assessed. It turned out that it wasn’t a print, but a lithograph by a famous artist, and a rare one at that. “I would expect this to go at auction somewhere around $25,000 dollars.” said the expert. The woman was astounded. Her eyes flew wide open. Her jaw dropped. “Oh, my God!” she exclaimed. “I had no idea!” “So, how do you feel about cats now?” the show host joked. “I’m becoming quite fond of them!” the woman laughed. What a wonderful surprise to learn she had such a valuable treasure lying there right under her nose all those years, and she didn’t have a clue! It makes you look twice at Aunt Esther’s ugly vase, or grandpa’s moldy collection of fishing lures. Could they be worth something and you don’t even know it?
All of us dream of such a find, don’t we? A yard sale discovery, an antique in the attic? We love stories of people stumbling over hidden treasures and becoming rich overnight, because if it happens to them, it just might happen to us.
Could it be that we do have such a treasure laying right under our noses? Do we own something of great value that we might have under- estimated? The kingdom of heaven lay hidden in the dust of a lowly manger disguised as a baby boy by the name of Jesus. Those who found him that first Christmas were brought to their knees, returning home in great joy at their discovery. When they died, they passed this treasure on to us. Imagine what that gift is worth in today’s market! Yet, how often have we left the most valuable thing we own out gathering dust on the back porch of our hearts?
This Christmas, as you delight in giving and receiving gifts with your loved ones, take a moment to sit and quietly ponder the fact that you already own the most precious gift on earth. The kingdom of heaven belongs to you; a hidden treasure, just lying there waiting for you to pass it on to the next generation. May they know it when they see it.
A blessed Christmas, to you and yours,
Pastor Barb <><
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. Matthew 13:44