Across the Pastor’s Desk: You are of extraordinary value

Published 9:44 pm Thursday, July 27, 2017

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Mark Boorsma

In 2014, Sotheby’s auctioned a tiny piece of paper, the one-of-a-kind British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp. The anonymous collector who bought it paid $9.48 million.

Let that sink in. A one-cent postage stamp made in 1856 sold for almost $9.5 million, a fantastically, vividly dramatic demonstration of value.

Mark Boorsma

Email newsletter signup

Jesus compares God’s realm to at least two such fabulously valuable items — hidden treasure and an extremely costly pearl (Matthew 13:44-45). To obtain these luxuries, the buyer sells all that he has in order to buy the amazing item. And this cost is not incurred sorrowfully or regrettably, for the giddy discover is described thus:  “in his joy he goes and sells all that he has.”

In proclaiming the realm of God, Jesus isn’t peddling snake oil, nor is he swindling you into buying a bicycle for your fish. In the sweetest transaction ever, he gives you treasure beyond imagining.

While it is certainly possible that somewhere in the world there is now a stamp collector with a whopping case of buyer’s regret, somehow I doubt that. Instead I picture a still-thrilled owner getting goose bumps all over again every time she or he sees such an utterly superlative prize.

And it gets better.

The hidden treasure, the luxury pearl, the One-Cent Magenta did not drain your bank account.

Jesus paid it all. Oh, to be sure, you can bet he weeps whenever you or I speak or act as if his gift were cheap and inconsequential. It does matter to Jesus that his priceless grace be treasured, enjoyed and shared.

The bedrock conviction of faith in Christ is that he finds you to be the treasure he most desires. For you he gave it all. And somebody else might be feeling “worthless” unless or until you share the one-of-a-kind Jesus.

Mark Boorsma is the pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Albert Lea.