“‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:32-34) In the Gospel of Luke talks, Jesus speaks a good deal about money. Even if we are hesitant to speak, he sure is not! The text before us this week begins, as do so many others: with the reassurance that we need not be anxious about our lives. And the reason for that is not that a promise that someday we will finally land our dream job or that eventually our lucky number will come through. No, we are encouraged not to be afraid because it is God’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom! Reflect for a moment on the emphasis there. God does not begrudgingly do this. God does not need to be placated or cajoled into doing this. No, it is his good pleasure, his joy. Furthermore, his gift is not a reward and it certainly is not a payment for services rendered; it is a gift. And in order for us to fully enjoy it, to fully receive it, he invites us to give in response. Clenched hands and closed wallets or pocketbooks cannot give, but they also cannot receive from the God who always goes first in giving. One last point regarding verse 34; I have come to believe that it is crucial for us to give even (and perhaps especially) when our hearts are not in it. I think that Jesus chooses his words carefully and what he says here is that our hearts are moved by where our treasure is. We begin to love, our spirit begin to focus upon, the places, people and things to which we give. Our concerns will follow our treasure. So today, if you are worried about the future, ask yourself this: where is my treasure? Where is my focus? Allow the gift of God’s Kingdom to be your focus and give in joyful response. Have a great week!