It looked like a potato chip bag crumpled up in the street. I was in the sixth grade and was waiting with a group of girls for a ride from school to a slumber party when we noticed the bag across the street in front of the hospital. Finally, curiosity got the better of us and we decided to cross the road to check it out.
What we found shocked us all. It was a plain looking bag, filled with a huge wad of money. “Who would leave all this money just sitting there by the side of the road in such an undistinguished looking container?” we wondered.
Despite all the excitement, we did not have to think twice about what to do. We rushed back across the street and into the school to give the bag of money to the principle, who immediately contacted the police. We went back outside to wait for the ride and talk about the treasure we had found.
It was Friday. On Monday we found out the story behind the money. The money equaled more than $5,000, which in 1979 dollars was much more than it is today. (Even today, $5,000 dollars is a good chunk of change.) The owners had been found. The money belonged to a local tavern and had fallen off the back of an armored Wells Fargo truck.
As a reward we received $100 to split between us and $500 to buy something for our school. We also got our picture in the paper and some great publicity for our Lutheran school. As the ones who found the money, we girls were allowed to help decide what buy for the school. After perusing a few catalogues we settled on getting a large slide for the playground. The greatest reward, though, was knowing that we had done the right thing.
Treasures sometimes come in plain looking packaging. Think of a white envelope that carries a large check, the plain looking oyster that hides a prize pearl, or a simple box that holds a diamond engagement ring. Sometimes the packaging belies the treasure that is inside.
This makes me think of Paul writing to the Corinthians and telling them that we hold this treasure in jars of clay (2nd Corinthians 4:7). The clay jars represent our bodies. The treasure is the gospel.
I do not know about you, but I know my body is a clay jar. Now that I am in my mid 40’s I am noticing some small wrinkles starting to appear. I dye my hair to hide the gray that is starting to show itself. I have a few more aches and pains than I had when I was younger. My body is perishable. It will not last forever.
But my body holds an imperishable to treasure: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just ponder that a moment. My less than perfect body holds a perfect treasure. In my body I carry around the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The power of God resides within me…and you.
We women like to look at our bodies and compare them unfavorably. But thinking of my body as a vessel for the treasure of God makes me feel beautiful inside and out. I may be a clay jar, but I hold in me the key to eternity! This is a treasure I do not have to turn in to the police, but rather a treasure I wish to lavishly share.
Now go look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, “I am beautiful; I hold the treasure of Jesus in me.”
Blessings in Jesus,