April 5th Lenten Devotion

Piles and Pearls

Matt McCaffrey

Matthew 13:44-50

I have an eye for treasure. My home study is a testament to the various pearls I find in my daily travels. When I attend a convention or a trade show, I make room in my luggage for the various goodies pressed into my hands by exhibitors. They remind me of the trip, and some of them are useful.

But: my home study occasionally overflows with all those tchotchkes and pamphlets and books. It’s hard to derive pleasure from a “fidget spinner” with your denomination’s logo printed on it when it falls on your fingers from an overhead shelf…for the third time. It’s frustrating to walk into the room and navigate around boxes full of demo equipment that (in my mind) is valuable, but has no practical use in my work. It occasionally drives me to tears when I can’t find the one white paper I need, somewhere in that stack of 27 brochures.

Weeping? Check. Gnashing of teeth? Oh, yes.

That’s when I understand parables like these in a much more personal way. The “end of the age” is not something under my control. Still, I hear Jesus’ words as a more intimate invitation. It takes an angel—my spouse—to help me see the treasure in my particular field, and to spot the pearls in my particular stash. As we work together, I begin to understand discernment in a whole new light. For today, I’ll work in my own field. For today, I’ll choose what is precious and upcycle the rest.


May your Spirit’s discerning wisdom continue to grow in me, compassionate Jesus. Amen.


Matt McCaffrey is Interim Minister of North Madison Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Connecticut.


©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity.  Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is.  Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book.   The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s