“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Today in chapel we had a couple who co-pastors a local church speak with us. About half way through the husband turned to his wife and said, “Wow, we are not following our notes at all. But that’s alright.” And it really was alright, actually it was great. Within the first 5 minutes of them speaking I had this overwhelming sense that I was sitting at home, listening to a good friend tell a simple and sweet and intimate story. This couple wasn’t just another speaker, coming to give us 7 reasons why we should be involved in a local church or bury us with the theological reasoning behind the necessity of church membership. No, this husband and wife simply told us stories. Stories about their own church. Stories about their love for Jesus. Stories about their love for people. They didn’t come to prove anything or convince anyone. They just came to sit on the couch and share the stories God had given them. I treasure that.
And I think that is what most people treasure: genuine, intimate, and authentic connection with people. A lot of the time we convince ourselves that we treasure paychecks, entertainment, and flattery, or at least we live that way, but when someone gives you a taste of the authentic, you want more. And that’s what Jesus did. He came down and told us stories about how great it is to be in his family. He came into this world knowing who he was and how amazing his own story was, so he told people about it. His didn’t need to prove himself because authenticity has a natural magnetism. Our hearts crave intimate, safe, and deep connection; we need love. Thankfully, our God is Love.
Towards the end of the conversation the husband said something along these lines: Jesus incarnates himself through people being people, the messiness of life, and beautifully incarnating the Gospel. I love that. Jesus knows the full extent of our messy world because he was in the trenches with us. He genuinely knows the gritty details of being human because he was human. That’s why so many people love Jesus. He’s real. He’s authentic. He doesn’t have steps or a checklist but he does have time and a story. And what a stunning, cosmic, brutally honest story it is.