Matthew 6: 9 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
In my reading this past month, I have been exploring the writings of Ph.D. Sociologist, Brene’ Brown. She is best known for her TEDx talk on vulnerability, recorded in 2010. Her research uses “grounded” methodology. That means that she interviews people, and looks for similarities and trends in the data she gleans from the interviews. She is not looking to prove a particular theory or test a particular hypothesis. Instead, she takes a theme and asks questions about that theme. As a result, sometimes what she learns from her interviews surprises even herself. In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, she shares how she and her husband had created a list of dreams – those things they hoped to one day accomplish. But as a result of her research, she wondered if this list matched who they really were- their joys, what gave them meaning. So she and her husband sat down and asked that essential question: what gives us joy and meaning? The list included such things as sleep, working out, going to church, time with friends and family, being present for their adult children, and having meaningful work that doesn’t consume them. (pg.102). Then they looked at their dream list and realized most of those things didn’t speak to what gave them joy and meaning. The dreams were about acquiring things, or accomplishing things. That day they made a conscious choice to focus on those activities that give them joy and meaning.
What gives us joy and meaning as a church community? I think that was really the underlying question of our Vision 2025 survey and conversations. And the answer I heard loud and clear was that our greatest joy and what gives us meaning is being the church through worship, fellowship, and shared mission. The property is a bonus, the building is a bonus, the amazing sound system is a bonus – but the people and the mission we have in common is what truly matters.
In the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” May we have the courage to pursue the true treasures that give us joy and meaning.
With prayers in Christ,