He said to them, Therefore every teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar]. (Matthew 13:52 AMP)
Christmas is just days away. It seems but a breath between “Happy New Year!” and “I know I bought a box of Christmas cards last year; where’d I put them?!”
During the past twelve months, the new and the old mingled. Belongings and familiar rhythms of life gained another year of wear and habit. And yet, fresh was mixed in, like an ingredient added to a timeworn recipe that results in added flavor and savor.
In the Matthew passage above, Jesus draws a beautiful comparison of an instructed and trained disciple to a householder with a storehouse. In that storehouse resides treasure both new and old.
As this year draws to a close, what kind of spiritual householder have you been? What treasures from the Word are contained in your storehouse? Has long-memorized scripture been further burnished like gold this past season? Have you devoted time to soak in God’s presence so He could lead you on discovery of new treasures: fresh insights from the old and constantly unfolding layers of truth revealed?
I know as well as anyone how easy it is to be content with the familiar. One need not think too much. “That’s all she rote” becomes modus operandi. The familiar rhythms of life become boringly common with little threat of “zing!” thrown in to mess up one’s little package of perceived control. I also know what it’s like to have something fresh show up on the front porch and ring my doorbell.
It’s the not knowing what’s on the other side of the door that stops some people in their tracks. Untrained familiar rattles the chain around their ankle and begs “don’t go there!” Others recklessly unlatch the bolt and swing the door wide, with caution thrown to the wind. One reaction halts, and depletes a little bit more the familiar treasure it has stored up over the years. The opposite reaction grasps uninstructed fresh with eager hands before it is even recognizable for what it is, let alone ripe. Both responses can leave you with a belly ache.
The fresh and the familiar both have their place in the householder’s storehouse. The old balances the new with a firm foundation; the fresh breathes new life and bright challenge into that which has become too common as to become dull and mundane.
As the steward of the life that God gives you, have you been learning Christ’s balance between the “old” and the “new”, the “fresh” and the “familiar”? Are you spiritually proficient in esteeming familiar Truth revealed, while not foolishly freeze-drying the fresh Manna that has been preserved for these last days before Christ’s return?
Jesus said we are being trained for and instructed about the kingdom of heaven. Though an eager learner, what I know about the kingdom of heaven would fill a mere thimble. To live and move and have my being there means I must become schooled and skilled in the ways of this royalty realm. So must you if such is your desire, too.
It is my prayer and aim as I write and speak, that familiar treasures of God’s Word will be brought forth in fresh ways…as aged fine wine poured out in crystal decanters, sparkling and continually new and renewed, like God Himself.
Will you join me in a toast to the fresh and the familiar? A glass raised in honor to the Ancient of Days in this kingdom wherein He is making everything new. (Revelation 21:5)