This post is one in a series of devotionals written by Lutherans in the U.S. and LWR staff around the world reflecting on their faith, which calls them to proclaim hope for those in need. Check out the other devotionals in the series.
As we walk through the season of Lent together, announce to the world that the Hope of Christ makes a new season possible – a SEASON OF HOPE. Join us by energizing your congregation for global good through activities and service opportunities that connect us to our brothers and sisters in need around the world. Click here to get started.
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.” — Matthew 6:20 (NRSV)
We all have something we treasure. It might be a picture or a figurine, a family heirloom or a well-worn Bible, or any number of other items we hold dear.
When traveling to Tanzania with Lutheran World Relief on behalf of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, I had the opportunity to visit a distribution center. Among the kits and supplies stored there were bales of quilts to be distributed to various missions and ministry centers. Our travel over the next days included delivering quilts to individuals in remote locations.
Later, in visiting the rooms of those who had received the quilts, I saw that, for many of them, their quilt was their most cherished possession — and in some cases their only possession. The women of my home congregation made one of the quilts I had brought with me. When I shared a picture of the recipient and the quilt with the women back home, the tears flowed as they saw what a blessing, a treasure, the quilt was to this woman.
The quilts that are handmade throughout the United States represent not only a physical need that is being met but also the love of God through the hands and time of others touching the hearts of their recipients. They show that someone cared and did something for them. They represent hope.
This Lenten season, as we ponder our Savior on the cross, we are reminded that he did not have any earthly treasures. The gruesome picture of his agony and death tells of the love that he has for us and the hope that he gives to everyone around the world. As we receive his love in faith, we receive the greatest treasure of all: the forgiveness of our sins and the promise of life eternal.
Sharing this hope with others is what LWR is all about. As LWR shares practical items such as quilts or kits, or passes along new skills to small farmers, the recipients get a glimpse of the real treasure we have: the same grace that God first gave us. That treasure was freely given to us, but it was given at a great cost. The sinless Son of God, the word made flesh, suffered and died for us. What great love; what a treasure!
How does your life reflect the hope and the treasure that you have in Jesus Christ, for neighbors near and far?
Jesus, priceless treasure, draw me closer to you this Lenten season. My hope is built on nothing less than your blood and righteousness. Amen.
Janice Wendorf served as President of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) from 2007 - 2011. She now serves as an LWR Ambassador, living in Neenah, Wisconsin.
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