Ok – I know I’m late. This has been a great week even though I’ve had so much to do the blog was left dangling. So, here’s something to chew on before Sunday morning. We’re going to tell and explore this story together as it relates to Matthew 5:13-20, the gospel reading for Sunday. Read it. Ponder it. Pray about it.
Are you holding on to what you do not have?
There once was an old man who lived on a beautiful island.
For generations his family tilled the fields and tended his beloved vineyards.
As he was reaching the last days of his life, he asked his children to take him to the fields one last time. He knelt down and with his hands, gathered a fistful of soil, and held it tight to his chest.
Soon after, he died and came to the gates of heaven. The angels rejoiced and said, “Please come into the Kingdom of Heaven.” The old man tried to enter, but the angel noticed his hands and said, “You can’t enter heaven with a fist – but only with open hands – you’ve got to let go of what you do not have.”
“Oh I could never do that!” cried the old man, “this is all I have left. Without it, there would be nothing to live for.” The angels were sad, and they left the old man alone.
Years passed, and the angels returned, bringing food from the heavenly banquet. They were trying to persuade him that what God would put in his hands would be so much greater than what he did not have.
But the angels went away grieving for the old man would not let go.
Many years passed and the angels returned again, but they brought the Old Man’s granddaughter with them, who by this time, had lived and died herself. She rejoiced when she saw her grandfather, “Oh Pappa, please, come into the kingdom of heaven. We love you and we miss you!”
Taken by surprise, the Old man rejoiced. He came running with his arms wide open to embrace her. Finally, he put down what he did not have, and received what God longed to give. In opening his hands to accept the love of his granddaughter, he found his feet firmly planted in the kingdom…because what he did not have, well, it slipped right through his fingers.
Are you holding on tight to what you do not have or are you open to what God longs to give?
We can’t find the kingdom of heaven with a fist – but only with open hands. Look around at the world, at our church, at our community and ask…isn’t it time, to let go of what we do not have, that God would give the gospel we all so dearly need?
See you Sunday…