Treasures and the Heart
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor trained in the American Social Gospel and Black Church traditions who later became a martyr under the Nazis, wrote the following reflection on the story of the manna in the desert (enough for one day only) and Jesus’ comments on our hearts and our treasures.
“Goods are given to us to be used, but not to be stored away. Just as Israel in the desert received manna daily from God and did not have to worry about food and drink, and just as the manna which was stored from one day for another rotted, so should Jesus’ disciples receive their share daily from God. But if they store it up as lasting treasure, they will spoil both the gift and themselves. The heart clings to collected treasure. Stored–up possessions get between me and God. Where my treasure is, there is my trust, my security, my comfort, my God. Treasure means idolatry.
“But where is the boundary between the goods I am supposed to use and the treasure I am not supposed to have? If we turn the statement around and say, ‘What your heart clings to is your treasure,’ then we have the answer. It can be a very modest treasure; it is not a question of size. Everything depends on the heart, on you. If I continue to ask how can I recognize what my heart clings to, again there is a clear and simple answer: everything which keeps you from loving God above all things, everything which gets between you and your obedience to Jesus is the treasure to which your heart clings.” (from The Cost of Discipleship)
In our Lenten reflections and meditations, let us remember the importance of not being attached to mere things or to a false sense of security.
Grace and Peace,