May 31, 2009, Pentecost Sunday B

                                              Acts 2:1-11, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13, John 20:19-23

Deacon Gregory Burch


Let me tell you of locks and treasures.


When my children were little we organized an elaborate birthday party with a pirate theme. In preparation, my wife and I filled an old iron-strapped chest with foreign coins, which we had purchased cheaply by the pound. Then we locked the chest in chains and secretly buried it in our back-yard. I created an intricate treasure map rife with cryptic runes, measured footsteps, and natural markers as clues. The parchment was all duly aged with intentional coffee stains and burn holes.


The little crew gathered in full pirate regalia. We set off with the map on our treasure quest. Soon our everyday, familiar, mundane back-yard began to transform in front of our eyes. What had been but a tree became an important cipher in our puzzle, a swing on a rope revealed the measurement of a circle’s arc, a bush declared its relationship to a wall and the sun, once again, gave clue to our orientation in space. The common became infused with energy, the mundane manifested mystery, the landscape showed unity, and a potential not perceived by us before.


When the little tykes uncovered the chest the excitement was feverish. They took command, and, hauling chains, barley lifted the load from the grip of the earth. The lock was hammered off, and when the lid was thrown open those coins dazzled in the sun and reflected the wonder in their eyes.


I noticed the broken lock being trampled by little dancing feet. I wondered, what good would that treasure have served if the lock held?  The lock, which was meant to keep intruders out also kept the treasure confined, where it was useless. Even if the box of cheap coins had been of gold or diamonds they could not sparkle in the darkness of a sealed chest.





We heard today in Scripture of another lock and a different treasure. The Disciples of Jesus had bolted, chained and locked them selves into a room for fear of the outside. What would have happened if that lock had held, the treasures in that room could not

have been spent. The gospel would not have been preached to the world. The word was gagged, muffled, mute in that stale room, until Jesus dissolved the locked door, and brought gifts from the treasury of his spirit.


The first treasure of the resurrection was an antidote to fear. The first treasure of the resurrection was a reminder of God’s irrevocable love for us. The first treasure of the resurrection was conveyed in Christ’s words, “Peace be with you.”  Who can fear when we are so loved by God?


Christ has done so much to spend his own treasury of love on us. He purchased our salvation and then he sent to us a key to unlock unbounded riches. The key is the restorative breath of life that sets all things right. The key is the Holy Spirit, who is the spark that ignites the inner fires that illumine the holiness of life.


Scripture tells us that our treasures are varied. In truth we have only one treasure and that is God. The treasures that the Holy Spirit unlocks and reveals is our singular ability to perceive, to appreciate, to bathe ourselves in God and His creation.


When we allow the Holy Spirit to open the treasures locked within, we open the lid and peer in at the abundant wealth of God’s graces.


The Holy Spirit is the key to unlock:

The treasure of our eyes, to know God’s presence in glistening particles of colored light filtered through the stained glass around us. To see God’s hand in the beauty of all creation. Eyes to issue tears of joy or sadness as we bring the cares of our lives to His table.





The Holy Spirit is the key to unlock:

The treasure of our ears, so we may be uplifted by songs of praise, brought closer to him by a baby’s sigh, and rejoice in the fellowship of laughter. Ears to receive the Word of God and to listen for the needs of those around us.


The Holy Spirit is the key to unlock:

 The Treasure of our lips, to offer the comfort of a kiss, to proclaim our faith and praise the glory of God. Lips to receive the Eucharist and taste eternity.


What good is a locked treasure?


Every day, barred doors dissolve and frightened hearts are calmed when Christ prevails and the key of the Holy Spirit opens hearts to reveal the treasures of the soul.


Be not afraid, spend yourself to the glory of God.

Leave a comment