For Where Your Bling Is…

Jesus was not a cardiologist. And yet, I would guess that many modern cardiologists, along with the majority of people, would agree with this long-ago statement from Matthew 6:21:

For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.

Did Jesus really say it? The Jesus Seminar scholars, a loose-knit group of academics that have rigorously examined Jesus’ words in the Gospels (and who challenge readers to realize some of Jesus’ statements may have been “invented” by the Gospel writers), had mixed reactions to this verse.

A version of these verses also appears in Luke 12:33-34 and the Gospel of Thomas 76:3. Did Jesus say it? There’s no doubt that scholars can debate its veracity. But I believe the statement; those brief words can rattle and rekindle my faith.

Belief believes.

I recall when a friend called to tell me he was scheduled for a procedure in the near future. An angiogram. There might be more if blockage was found, including a stent placed in one or more of his arteries. He and his cardiologist had been monitoring some cardiac aberrations and it was past time to take a closer look.

I think my friend was afraid. (I would be too.) Continue reading →

Anyone Found A Pez Dispenser?

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 – The 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time – for Sunday, July 27, 2014

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid…” (Matthew 13:44)

In early July 2014, Mr. Jason Buzi continued his Hidden Cash social media “experiment” by hiding envelopes with money in Fresno’s Woodward Park. According to the Fresno Bee . . .

Thousands of people descended on Woodward Park in north Fresno—triggering a traffic jam at the park entrances—after hints began flowing on Twitter and Facebook shortly before 5:30 p.m. Some people were sniffing around in the sprawling park on instinct, however, even before the first tweeted hints.

Nearly $1,900 was hidden in various locations in the park, tucked away in envelopes and Pez candy dispensers.

Buzi, who apparently uses his own money, placed silver dollars in some envelopes and as much as $75 in currency in others. He stuffed $125 in the Pez dispensers. But Fresno was not unique. Either Mr. Buzi or one of his friends has unleashed the Hidden Cash treasure hunt from the San Francisco area to Southern California. There are plans for London, Paris, Madrid, and more! Stay alert! There may be euros and pounds joining dollars in this search for . . .

Search for what? Treasure?

Jesus’s briefest of parables (Matthew 13:44) described a different treasure hunt:

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Is the kingdom of heaven like a traffic jam as people crowd into a park, probe bushes with sticks, peer under park benches and elbow and curse (and cheer) each other as they pursue a repurposed Pez dispenser? Continue reading →