Monday, July 18, 2011

Word for the Weekend: a dream, a treasure, a pearl

Solomon's Dream by Marc Chagall

From Chagall's bible etchings comes Solomon's Dream.  Here, the Lord's angel comes in the night as Solomon sleeps with his crown.  The Lord offers Solomon anything he desires and the king asks only for "an understanding heart" for judging God's people and to know what's right from what's wrong. In return for this selfless request God promises Solomon "a heart so wise and understanding" that none who had come before and none who would come after would be judged his equal.

The scriptures this weekend call us to consider the treasures we seek, the treasures God offers us and our willingness, our capacity to seek what is truly of value.

The gospel will compare the kingdom of heaven to a great treasure buried in a field and to a highly valuable pearl.  In both brief parables, the Lord sets before us something to be prized and asks us to consider what we might give in exchange for it.

(A longer form adds a third parable, that of a great catch of fish, with instruction on how the fisherman sorts the good fish from the worthless.)

The second lesson is part of a series from Romans.  The day's strong thematic is less obvious in this text but Paul does ask us to consider the value of "called, justified and glorified" by God, conformed to the image of his Son.

What from my own life and experience might I "compare to the kingdom of heaven?"

What treasures do I seek, spend my life on?

What treasures am I willing to relinquish for treasures of greater value?

Am I willing to give up all for all that really matters?

Solomon is pictured by Chagall as sleeping with his crown.  What are the things that I hold on to as closely as this king clung to his crown?

To help in considering those questions, take some time to read the scriptures and some commentary on them here.  Bringing children to church with you?  Here you'll find some hints on helping them prepare to hear the Word in these scriptures.

 
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