“Seek first the Kingdom of God!” In memory of Colin Bachmann

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. […] “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you…

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

We just heard the words of… yes, of Jesus Himself. And what words! Those spoken as a part of the most famous and most world-transforming speech in the history of humanity. Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today, through the millennia and across the whole world He speaks to you. And what does Jesus say to you? “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth… but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also […] do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on… your heavenly Father knows what you need…”.

Isn’t this interesting, and puzzling? We are quite incredible and quite mysterious creatures. What are we anxious about? What do we think about? What do we hope for? What do we dream about?

More, how do we spend our lives, what do we toil for day after day, and year after year? For our treasures… Where is our focus in this life for most of time? What keeps our minds occupied? What fills our days?

Anxiety about our life; what we will eat and drink and put on, what our careers will be, what we want to achieve, who we want to be, what we hope to have in this life and so on. Our treasures…

Isn’t that how our lives go by, for most of time? So much energy and efforts and time goes into it. Being anxious about this life. As if we didn’t know better, as if that was somehow hidden from us, as if it that was kept from us…

That with every year, with every day we move one step closer to the inevitable. To that day, when our lives in this age will be over. Regardless how long they have been. Ninety or seventy or only thirty.

One thing in our lives is most certain, inevitable – one day our lives will be over and then the moment of truth, most wonderful or extremely unpleasant – we will stand face-to-face with our Creator, with God to whom we owe everything.

We know this is coming. That is not some secret knowledge, available to a chosen few. Sure, we don’t know when, but we often live as if this is not going to happen to me, no! no! not to me! It only happens to other people.

The longer we are in this world, the more we chase our dreams, the harder we work, the more we face our limitations. Many give up, some sooner, some later, they just focus on this moment; what will make me the happiest, what is the easiest way, what will bring me the most pleasure now, today, tomorrow…

And the closer we come to the end of our journey here in this age, the more it begins to down on us, that all the things and glory and splendour of this world, will soon be gone, everything we have toiled for – we will need to leave it here.

Naked we came into this world and naked we will leave it. Only one thing matters… Our entire live from its very beginning is heading into that direction, that moment of truth, facing the greatest mystery, homecoming or eternal exile.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” That is what your life will revolve around. This is why Jesus reminds you today: “Do not be anxious … But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [everything that you may need for this life] will be added to you…”.

Colin Bachman. How do you remember him? We all are more complex than we realize, and in our relationships with others we usually only reveal and see a few facets of who we are? How do you remember Colin?

Who was he to you? What parts of Colin’s personality were you familiar with? Father, grand-father, uncle, friend, co-worker, neighbour, fellow saint… How do you remember Colin? As this kind man? As someone always ready to help, always ready to give a hand, whenever needed?

Always being out there, active, serving? As a story teller? There was definitely a lot of that in him. As the original recycling pioneer? As a larrikin, always keen for adventures? Some of you may know those facets which are not mentioned in public, which we are not proud of.

Or perhaps, as a man who had an interesting advice for almost every situation? I wonder how Jan thought about him. She would always have that smile on her face when talking about Colin.

I met Colin as his pastor and as a fellow Christian. I was blessed to see that facet of Colin’s heart that was renewed and enlightened by the Spirit of God. Entrusting his live into the hands of his Heavenly Father.

Rejoicing and celebrating in the presence of the Lord, in the midst of his congregation. Keenly listening to the gracious and wisdom filled words of our God and radiating Christian joy in Bible studies.

Deeply appreciating the gift of the Holy Spirit that he had receive. Passionate to see other being embraced in God’s family. Puzzled and confused and sometimes even upset that so many would refuse to receive and experience all the blessings that the fellowship with the true God so abundantly gives us…

Or using the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount, I knew Colin as someone whose greatest treasure was in heaven, and who, by God’s grace, was seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and to whom all the other things needed were added.

Finally, after challenging last few years, Colin has found what he was seeking for. Or better put, He was found and taken home, to be re-united with Jan and his other loved ones, and to finally see His Lord Jesus Christ face-to-face.

We are still here though. Jesus still speaks to us. We better listen to Him.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth… but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven … do not be anxious … but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else will be added to you.”

Amen.

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