Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21
The Basic Bible Truth
Our human nature is drawn to the nice things we see around us. We tend to want to accumulate more and more and give it a bigger and better place in our hearts as we go along in our lives. Jesus warns us more about problems associated with wealth than any other topic. It is a delicate balance in our culture today to remain God centered in the midst of all of the wealth around us.
A Small Coffin A Broken Glass With A Dead Face Drawn On It A New Mug With A Smiley Face Drawn On It A Candelabra Dry Ice Clear Glass Containers Hot Water In A Thermos A CD Of The Theme From Phantom Of The Opera CD Player
For me, this is always fun to do near Halloween. It’s a bit scary and fits the theme of Halloween nicely without condoning the emphasis on occultism and demonic things. Typically, I have everything set up on a table in front of the class in a room that can be made completely dark. On either end of the table I have a clear glass container that can hold about a gallon of water. Dead center, pun intended, is placed a silver candelabra with five tall white candles. Directly in front of the candelabra is a small coffin. On cue, the lights go out, and a recording of the theme music from “Phantom of the Opera” begins playing at a fairly high volume. The center candle is then lit, allowing me to see a little better. From behind me, I bring forward a water thermos filled with the hottest water I can find, and pour it into the two glass containers, filling them to within an inch of the lip. Also from behind me in a cooler, I pick up a piece of dry ice and gently drop it into the container of hot water. Doing it a second time for the other container and both are then bubbling and producing a table hugging fog that flows across and drops off of the table. Then the remaining 4 candles are lit and I gradually turn the music down. By this time, I guarantee you will have their attention and can simply have a few moments of quiet, allowing them to listen to the ice boiling in the water and watch the fog roll off the table edges.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to say goodbye to my dearest and best friend. My family and I lost him this past week and thought it might be appropriate to say a few words here today, and share my grief with you. This loss was unexpected and has been a real tragedy for us as a family. I want to thank you for being here to share in this time of mourning with me.
You may be wondering whom we mourn here today. Allow me to show you. Here, in this specially made coffin are the final remains of my best friend. Dearly beloved, this broken glass is all that remains of my best friend “Glassey”. I remember like it was yesterday, the day Glassey came to live with my family. We were shopping in Walmart, going up and down the isles, and as we walked through the housewares section of the store, I felt a presence watching me. I looked around a bit, and he finally caught my eye. Way up there on the top shelf sat Glassey. He was grinning from his handle to the other side of his face, and I just knew he would be a perfect fit for our home. I took him down and he came to live with us.
Life was good for many years. Glassey and I shared so many wonderful times together, especially during the summer. It was his favorite time of year. Whenever I would be working outside in the hot summer heat, I always knew that if I came inside, Glassey would be setting there on the countertop, filled to the brim with ice cold tea. Those were some memorable times.
But, sadly, Glassey is no longer with us. We are not exactly sure what happened that fateful day. But, this is what we think. We had gone out for the night, and Glassey was setting there on the countertop, filled with ice-cold water as he usually was. Some water must have splashed out and, well, you know how Glassey was, undoubtedly, he must have lunged to save it and…lost his balance…and fell to the floor.
When we arrived home that evening, we saw him lying there, but it was too late to save him. He was already gone. So today we say our final goodbyes to Glassey. As I lay him gently in his little coffin and close the lid, a tear is sliding down my cheek as I think back on all of the good times we had.
But Glassey would have wanted us to go on. Yes we mourn his passing, and remember the good times we had with him, but there is more to life than sadness. So today I went back to Walmart and found a new best friend. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, my friend, Mugster!
Ok, let’s stop for a second here and talk about the elephant in the room. Does anyone see anything wrong with what has transpired here today? Of course you do. No one in their right mind has a funeral for their stuff. It is just stuff, and sometimes it breaks…that’s life, right? But I have met people who have become very attached to the things around them. Sometimes, if I am honest, I fall into that category. I like nice stuff and I want nice stuff and…but God must have first place in our lives—always.
Here is a little test you can use throughout your life to test your attachment to your things and your relationship to God. Ask yourself this question: If God asked me to walk away from everything I own right now and not look back with any regret or ill feelings, could I do it? That is indeed a very difficult question. But it gives great insight into how much our material possessions influence our daily lives and our relationship with our God.