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Where your treasure is

There is a story in the Book of a woman who deposited two copper coins into the temple treasury, and was commended by Jesus, because she put in all that she had. At one level, I want to question her sanity; but at another, I know that anyone whom Jesus commends must be in full position of their faculties. What she did was extraordinary. The reason she did it, I think I know.

Jesus once said in his great Sermon on the Mount, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” That seems to explain it. Her heart simply followed its treasure. And therein was her double honour – to have God as her treasure, and to have her heart on that treasure, fully invested, and fully content.

That old Congregational Minister, Joseph Parker (1830-1902), seemed to have had the same treasure in mind. Instead of two small copper coins, he expressed his gift in the form of six lines of ministry gold, and deposited with his usual wit: “As an arrangement for self-protection, I am driven to announce the following as my charges for general public service; in all case travelling expenses must, of course, be paid: Preaching on behalf of the salaries of poor minsters: NOTHING. Preaching for ministers whose salaries are less than ₤100 a year: NOTHING. Preaching at the opening of Chapels: Six volumes of standard literature. Attending Tea-meetings: Fifty pounds. Going to Bazaars: A hundred guineas. Serving on Committees: Two thousand pounds.”

DM 16th October 2021

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