‘Where your treasure is’ – 7th August 2022 – Eighth Sunday after Trinity

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22 08 07 The Eighth Sunday after Trinity Eucharist

The Readings


Hebrews 11.1-3, 8-16

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, ‘as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.’

All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

Luke 12.32-40
Jesus said: ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

‘But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’



Scripture Quotations are taken from: New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

The Sermon

By Canon Dr Alan Billings


‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’

Words of Jesus from today’s gospel. ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’

Your treasure is the most valuable thing you possess. It could be something material – from a pair of trainers to a porsche. It could be money – though given the way inflation is currently going its getting harder and harder to hang on to that – in real terms.

In the gospels Jesus sometimes comes across people for whom possessions and money are their treasure and the place where their heart is. On one occasion he meets a man who wants to know how he is to set himself right with God and so inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to obey the commandments and when the man says he has done, Jesus tells him to go and sell all he has and give it to the poor and then he will find treasure in heaven. The man goes away sorrowing because he is very wealthy. His treasure is his money. That’s where his heart is and Jesus shows that to him through this challenge: go and sell your possessions, they are getting in the way. That should not be where your heart is.

But Jesus also comes across another sort of person for whom their treasure is not money but another person.

You will recall that time when one of the important men in a local synagogue , sought out Jesus and fell down at his feet begging him to come and help his twelve year old daughter, who is dying. it’s such a touching moment. Here is this important man in his community who must act at all times with the dignity his position demanded. Yet he will do anything for his daughter, even making himself look pathetic, kneeling before a wandering rabbi, in public. He is not a man who begs anyone for anything. But here he is, begging, pleading with Jesus. Because his treasure, the place where his heart is, is not his status, not his position, not his money. His treasure is his little daughter; she has his heart.

I thought of that this week as I read and heard about Archie Battersbee. Archie, you will recall, was an energetic young twelve year old, who was found unconscious by his mother earlier this year. Since then he has been in a coma. The doctors said he could never recover and he was in a persistent vegetative state. They wanted to stop the treatment, that was keeping him alive, though lacking consciousness. His parents applied to the courts to stop the doctors ending his life and to require the hospital to continue his care. But they failed at every successive court hearing. And there have been many.

Whatever your view on the ethics of this, there could be no doubt about where Archie’s mother saw her treasure. Her boy was her treasure. And this was where her heart was. And that is why this has all been so sad and painful and difficult.

Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.

George Elliott, the Victorian novelist, has a lovely story which I always think takes these words of Jesus and shows what they can mean in the circumstances of an ordinary life.

She tells the story of a working man, Silas Marner. He’s a weaver, living alone in the countryside, making cloth on a little loom in his cottage. This is the early nineteenth century when we all worked from home.

Silas speaks to few people and is withdrawn and carries a grudge. He was once falsely accused of theft. He makes money but has nothing and no one to spend it on, so he hoards it – pieces of gold - under the floorboards, taking it out once a week to count it. You have a vivid picture of the pile of gold shining in the glow of the fire. This is his treasure and this is where his shrivelled and shrivelling heart is centred. But he is robbed, and loses it all and sinks deeper into despair.

Then one night, a destitute woman, clutching her small child, trying to get to the workhouse, collapses and dies near Silas Marner’s cottage,. The child, who has very fair hair, wanders into the weaver’s cottage, curls up and goes to sleep on the floor – the same floor beneath which he once had his stash of gold. When Silas wakes he sees the child, sees her golden hair, shining like the gold coins he once hoarded, and he is deeply moved.

He’s allowed to keep the child – no one else wants her – and he brings her up. She transforms his life, turning a self-centred, self-pitying miser into a loving and generous adoptive parent.

His treasure shifted from those gold coins to that golden haired child. And where his treasure was, there was his heart. But a new heart, a loving heart, not a shrivelled heart.

So the words of Jesus come as a challenge – to pause this morning and be clear to ourselves about where our treasure is. What do we value above all things? For where our treasure is, so is our heart and its our heart that God wants to be in the right place.

The Prayers

Prepared by Joe


We pray for the Church of Christ, for Bishop Pete and Bishop Sophie, our Archbishops Justin and Stephen, all here who lead us in worship and prayer, and all those whose time and talents are given to St Mary’s, St John’s and St Mark’s.

As we look back and reflect on the Lambeth Conference, we pray that all attendees and the communities that they represent can find true compassion in their hearts for all of your children, irrespective of sexuality and gender.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.


We are told in our Gospel reading; “Do not be afraid.” We are also told to be ready for the coming of the Kingdom of God. We pray that we will be generous in our dealings with others, and that we will prove ourselves to be good servants of the Lord.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.


We pray for the people of Ukraine that the war may soon come to an end and a just and lasting peace can be created between Russia and its neighbours. At this time of increased tension between China and Taiwan, and Israel and Gaza, we pray for all those affected by conflicts and international tension; civilians, soldiers, those trapped in war-zones and those who are refugees.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.


We pray for our community here in Walkley, and for the city of Sheffield, and for our neighbours and friends. We pray for all those affected by the increases in food and energy prices. We pray for those who have taken in refugees, and those who have found refuge in this city, and for our sister city of Donetsk.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.


We pray for the aged and infirm, and those sick in mind, body or spirit, and those who life has proven difficult for. We pray that you strengthen them and bring them the healing and peace that belong to Christ’s kingdom. In a few moments of silence, we bring to mind those we know who need your healing presence.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.


We pray for those currently close to death, and those accompanying them on this final part of their Earthly journey. We pray for those who have died, recently and in the past, and those who mourn.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.


Finally, Lord, we silently bring before you those special to us, and also those issues and concerns that we have in our own lives.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.


Rejoicing in the communion of Mary, Mark, John and of all the Saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to God. Merciful Father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.




Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is used here is copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council 2000