I will not forget opening the hotel bedroom curtain on our first morning in Cairo and seeing, for the first time in the flesh, the three Pyramids at Giza! It was a “pinch yourself moment”. No, I was not watching a Michael Portillo Great Railway Journeys documentary, or a Simon Reeves travel programme, I was really there. The Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was just 9 miles away, within touching distance, and I was going to walk around it today!
On 26th November 1922, 3,265 years after it had been originally sealed, Howard Carter discovered the priceless treasure of King Tutankhamun. Rooms crammed with statues, a chariot, weapons, vases, daggers, jewels and a throne. All items the Egyptians believed the King would need in his afterlife.
In Luke 12:13-32, Jesus told the parable of the Rich Fool. He was an arable farmer whose fields had yielded an exceptional harvest and who therefore decided to build additional barns to store the surplus grain. I don’t think that the building of the barns was where he went wrong. The grain needed protecting if it wasn’t to rot. The clue is in his motivation, “this will enable me to put my feet up and enjoy the surplus for myself”. Little did he know that he would never get to use a single grain of that surplus. Jesus concluded with one of His most profound statements, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.
The heart-breaking testimonies we are hearing during the current Coronavirus crisis are a sobering reminder that we will all leave our time on earth with exactly the same possessions with which we entered. Perhaps it is God’s way of challenging us all to reassess our priorities and to check out what or who our heart is really chasing after.