14. Value the pearls
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
Much of the past few weeks has had me planning and engaging our upcoming Neighbour Day garden party at Moreland Baps. National annual celebrations of community where we get together to simply say g’day to those whom are our neighbours.
You may ask what has this got to do with what is going on in Matthew today? I think community is sacred, not just any old group put together but true community. The pearls we possess are the integrity, honesty and value that we bring and offer in our community. We accept one another, the loud annoying one and the quiet apparently unengaged one and also the every now and then one.
Our Moreland community is sacred, it may not appear so obviously on the surface, but the reality is that we each seek to be life in community via the wider life that we live.
Our pearls that each of us offer in community are not to be wasted and Matthew encourages us today to think about our own pearls, that is, our own selves and to whom and to what we offer them.
Offering ourselves to community is never easy, a few months ago I had a Sunday off and thought about going to another church for the morning, it was hard and anxiety rising, and I am supposed to be a pastor, church is my bag!
But Jesus invites us into genuine community, not superficial, dishonoring, disarming community, but a community where we can be held in our fragility and upheld in our gifts and abilities. The pearls that make me me are offered and received in a place of love and grace and not to a bunch of pigs that seek to disintegrate me.
Neighbour day is a day where we celebrate our pearls, we are invited to bring our pearls and not be passive in this sacred gathering but rather bring our pearls to the altar where they are marveled and celebrated as all belonging to the body of Christ.
What’s your pearl? Where do you cast your pearls? Is community a sacred place for you or a place of consumption?
Have a think today what it would mean to offer your pearls in your community where ever that may be. Maybe you already offer your pearls, how are they received? Are they before the pigs? Or are they celebrated, enjoyed and marveled as true beauty from God?
Worth a thought don’t you think?