“’Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.'”  (Matthew 13:45-46, NIV)

Tonight, the President of the United States stands before both houses of the Congress and gives a required annual account of the State of the Union.  It is a reminder to every U. S. citizen that we live in a nation with vast resources and responsibilities.

The scriptures tell us of another sovereign entity: The Kingdom of God (also called the Kingdom of Heaven).  The state of God’s kingdom is eternally bright and stable because God is both its light and its foundation.  More people than are able may desire to become citizens of the leading nations of this world; but everyone looking for a better, brighter, eternally secure place are welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus described this kingdom as the prize discovered in a field that inspires its finder to sell all that he has to get the money to buy the field so that he might possess the prize for all time.  And, as we see in today’s scripture reading: The pearl merchant who finds a rare pearl of great value.

Do we esteem our place and possessions in this world of greater value than the Kingdom of Heaven?   Are we willing to forgo and to discard all of this world’s thoughts and trappings that we might, instead, claim the eternal prize?  – Luther

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