Where the real value lies

Published 11:26 am Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Today I put eggs on the stove to boil. I began working and forgot them. All of a sudden, I heard two loud distinct pops. Still not knowing what was going on, I went into the kitchen only to find that the pot with water was empty and the two eggs, now with scorched shells had exploded. Shell and egg weren’t everywhere, but it was quite a little mess I had made for myself.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells the Pharisees that they have taught and guided unjustly. They have focused too much on what people do to become “sacred,” instead of looking inside for righteousness.

In our culture today, we value what’s on the outside, much more than we do the inside. Or as I will call it today, we value the container over the contents most of the time. We value what others can offer us, give us, or do for us. We value clothes, our made-up faces, our hairstyles. We value our vehicles and our houses. We value our church buildings looking pristine and alive with people, only to find spiritual graveyards inside.

The reason we use containers isn’t for the containers sake, is it? Don’t we use the containers to hold whatever it is we value as important? What’s more important, our YETI container or the beverage inside? Our plastic Tupperware or the food we want to stay fresh? Our bodies all dolled or dappered up, slimmed down or built up with muscle, or God’s spirit that dwells within?

Something occurred to me this morning as I cleaned the splattered egg off the wall. That when the egg was introduced to the extreme heat, the inside of the egg (white and yolk) could not be contained by the outside container that held it (shell). I wonder if that too is God’s will for each of us. That as we are exposed to the heat of the fire of the Holy Spirit, that is supposed to live in us, those contents of Christ cannot be constrained — and they explode all over the place.

May we live in such a way as to value our contents over our containers. May we live as to explode so extraordinarily that God’s love, joy, peace and hope for the world become splattered everywhere.

Blessings, Tim

Tim Beck is pastor of Kenbridge United Methodist Church. His email address is revtimbeck@ gmail.com.