Go ahead. Ask me anything. Ask me for anything. Wisdom. Wise boy. Good choice. I am pleased. So I’ll give you the other stuff. The stuff you didn’t ask for. That should please you. And maybe— you’ll get the wisdom inside you in time. If not— I do not fear for my people. I’ll give you the wisdom on the outside too, on “spec” as it were, so you make some right decisions to start you off in style. But the rules haven’t changed. Wisdom must be sought – with diligence. Are you up to that?
Centuries pass. Another folk tale appears. A merchant seeks out pearls— and learns of one of great value. Too good to pass up. Too pricey not to ruin him— for ordinary things. Everything he has goes into the effort— all in, into the pot. It’s worth it – he says. This is the one. The one worth living for – and dying for?
Another man is in a field – ploughing for a neighbor or hired. He finds a hidden treasure. He doesn’t say a word about it, does he, to the owner of the field? No, he’s shrewd – and goes and buys the field for himself. Now he’s secure, the treasure is his – for what it’s worth.
Are these things worth all other things?
Purity of heart is to will one thing.
The one thing shrewd peasant wisdom wins – is that what Jesus was talking about? No – but we understand it.
We know how we’d feel if such an opportunity came into our hands.
And so, he says, it has—
Only it is invisible, hidden, and secret. It is still forming. It is small in appearance, even lowly. Humble. But its effects!
The leaven in the lump – of 50 pounds of flour! Enough for a divine feast – once the bread rises.
A seed – an ordinary, forgotten seed, mostly, perhaps, sewn by accident – here a man plants it expecting a few flowers – and he gets a shrub large enough for birds to nest in.
Not enough to match the grandeur of Solomon – but still: an outsized result, like an answer to prayer.
What could be more hidden than victory in and through the Cross?
What could be a greater boon than the love of God?
Spirit, fill us, so that we may ask.
Spirit, speak for us, when we cannot.
Spirit; inspire us to ask not for ourselves only but for your people and your world. Amen.
“Purity of heart is to will one thing.”
– Søren Kierkegaard