“X” is for Marking the Spot (March 26, 2012)

…Opening To…

There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall, where our dear Lord was crucified who died to save us all. O dearly, dearly has he loved! And we must love him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do. (Cecil Frances Alexander, from The Hymnal 1982)

…Listening In…

Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21; context)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “X” is for marking the spot. (Yes, yes, I’m cheating again. I hope you’re used to it by now.)

X is for marking the spot on a map containing the location of buried treasure. (Ya savvy?)  How many of us have seen films where pirates race to unearth the cache of golden doubloons after a creased and burned map surfaces in a tavern or an attic (Goonies, anyone?). Indiana Jones himself once said that X “never, ever” marks the spot. Then he went to Venice and found the knight’s tomb buried right under a Roman numeral ten in an old library.

What’s interesting about all of the literary and pop cultural references to X marking the spot is that the treasure must necessarily be hidden. There’s no story otherwise. But Jesus sees this X differently. For Jesus, the heart marks the spot, for “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” There shouldn’t be anything hidden about this at all if we use Jesus’ map. Go to your heart’s desire and you’ll find your treasure.

Of course, it’s not that easy. We fallen humans rarely set our hearts on the right things. We choose to mark all the wrong things with the X of our hearts – wealth, fame, material comforts, you know the drill. Perhaps the real treasure is hidden after all. Perhaps this is why our hearts are always restless. As Saint Augustine says, my heart is restless until it finds rest in God. In the end our true treasure is not hidden – a life lived by the riches of Christ’s grace.

But the maps we choose to follow often lead us astray.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are always more ready to be found than I am to search. Help me to discern which course to follow so that I may find the treasure of your love, store it in my heart, and give it to all I meet. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, continuing my walk with you along this path through Lent and almost come to Jerusalem where I will wait and watch with the Lord.

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