Nether Heyford Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
As I sit down a little earlier than usual to write September’s letter, ‘treasure’ is cropping up quite frequently, in the news, and in the Bible readings set for this time of year. Eighty years ago, an excavation in Suffolk uncovered one of this country’s great archaeological wonders, the burial mound of the Anglo-Saxon King Raedwald and particularly the Sutton Hoo burial ship. The National Trust has established new exhibition halls and routes around the site to help visitors understand more about the treasures discovered there. These include an ornate warrior’s helmet and a gold belt buckle. More ancient still, in Egypt, Tutankhamen’s golden coffin has been removed for the first time since its discovery in the 1920’s. Dating back to around 1320BC, the coffin will now be restored by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
What do you imagine when you picture treasure? Items beautifully crafted from precious metals, sparkling gemstones set in silver and gold, ancient, awe inspiring objects of great beauty? The ancient kings, Raedwald and Tutankhamen were buried with all sorts of things to ease their afterlife. But the treasures discovered with them are not eternal. Tutankhamen’s coffin is showing signs of cracks and damage, whilst the Sutton Hoo helmet has lost its original strength and splendour. Material things will always fail in the end, however well-made and beautiful they might be.
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells us not to worry about the loss of earthly things.
Instead, we are to strive for the Kingdom of God. God’s great love, and abundant life are an ‘unfailing treasure’, worth more than anything on earth (Luke 12:33). In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus likens the Kingdom to treasure hidden in a field, that we would give everything to purchase and possess (Matt 13:44). This great treasure is what we seek in the Lord’s Prayer, when we pray to our Father God, ‘your Kingdom come’. Jesus encourages us to stay alert to the signs of that Kingdom breaking into this world, and not be diverted by the sometimes-glittering distractions around us.
In September, we can look forward to further encouragement as we seek the joys
and benefits of God’s Kingdom. On Sunday 15th September, the Archdeacon of
Northampton will be the speaker at our Benefice and Partnership service at
10:00AM at Heyford Church. Please come along and listen to what he has to say to
us. And a couple of weeks later, at 10:00AM on Saturday 28th September, Rev
Roger Woods visits to lead our Away Day at the Chapter House in Weedon. Again,
all are welcome to join us for a challenging and exciting day. For catering purposes, please give me a ring and let me know if you’d like to join us.
Yours in Christ,
Stephen – 01327 344436