I was praying with a good friend, Simon, earlier today,when he prayed something rather profound: "Father I thank you for the privilege of being able to dig into your word and discover treasures and wonders for our amazement."
What a good thing to pray! It set me thinking a bit about treasure. When we unearth treasure there are any number of things we can do with it:
- We can put it in a museum, behind glass, displayed for a viewer to enjoy, but from which they are disconnected. Its not their treasure
- We can put it in a vault, recognising value in the abstract, but never using it
- We can put it in a drawer, let it gather dust. Pass it on as a family heirloom that was once precious but the value of which is now not recognised due to disuse
- We can throw it out among the rubbish unaware of it's value
- We can set it in a diamond ring, give it or wear it as a token of love, value it, cherish it everyday. We can display it against a black cloth to set off it's brilliance. When it is on the finger, or against the cloth it is, above all else, visible
I want to suggest that the setting in which treasure is displayed says a great deal about what we think of the treasure. How much we value it, whether or not we want to look at it all the time.
When we are reading the Bible we are indeed unearthing great treasures. But the unearthing isn't the important thing. That's just finding what is there. The important thing is how we display our treasure. The effort we put into displaying and showing it off to its best and most brilliant is what demonstrates the value we attach to it.
Like a craftsman fashioning the most delicate and exquisite setting for a diamond, is the Bible study leader seeking the most penetrating and probing of questions to allow Bible treasure to pierce the heart and amaze us with its wonders.