When Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God–what Jesus unleashed when he came–he sometimes refers to it as harvest or treasure…
“He said to them, ‘The harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest.'”
Luke 10:2 CEB
“’The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that somebody hid in a field, which someone else found and covered up. Full of joy, the finder sold everything and bought that field.'”
Matthew 13:44 CEB
In other words, God has already done something in Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus–because of who he is and what he has done on earth–the earth is filled now with God’s love. Jesus, the Son of God, has poured out God’s forgiveness and healing on this whole land. All things are on a course for restoration. As Jesus said on the Cross, “It is finished.” And as Peter says in 1 Peter 1:3, we have a new identity because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
That means 1) we can place all our hope in Jesus and lay the rest down and 2) we can go find the treasure that’s now all over the earth.
But where is the treasure?
It’s in our neighbors…in their stories. The treasure is in the story of our neighbors, especially those who are sick and suffering.
So…to find the treasure…to harvest the hope of Jesus Christ…we must seek out and listen to the stories of our neighbors, especially those who are suffering.
Listen for more (including a practical epilogue about how to do that). Message from Sunday, June 26, 2016: