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X Marks the Spot

Theme: We find our treasure at the cross. - Proper 12 (17)
Object: A map to hidden treasure that you can make yourself, and a wooden cross.
Scripture: "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." Matthew 13:44 [NIV]

There was a time, when someone who had something of great value would often bury their treasure so that no one could find it and take it away. Of course, there was always the risk that one might forget where their treasure was buried, so to make sure that they would remember where it was, they would often make a map like this one. Usually they would mark the spot where the treasure was with an "X" like the one on this map. That is where we get the expression, "X marks the spot."

Have you ever dreamed of finding an old map and following it to a spot where a pirate had buried a chest full of glittering gold? Well, this morning I want to tell you about a treasure that is more valuable than a chest full of gold -- and I will even tell you how to find it.

Jesus once said, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and then hid again; in his joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field." If you would like to find the treasure that Jesus was talking about, perhaps the Bible could be the map that leads us to that treasure. The Bible has a lot of information in it, but it is sometimes hard for us to understand, so how do you know exactly where the treasure is? That's easy, because "X marks the spot." (Hold up the cross at an angle so that it looks like the letter x.) Jesus died on the cross so that you and I could enter into the kingdom of heaven. When you look to the cross and put your trust in Jesus, the treasure will be yours.

To enter the kingdom of heaven is the greatest treasure one could ever desire. It is more precious than silver, gold, or jewels. That is why Jesus calls us to give up all that we have and follow him.

Dear Jesus, nothing we have can compare to life in the kingdom of heaven. Help us to place our trust in you, so that we may find that priceless treasure. In your name we pray. Amen.

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Alternate sermon for Matthew 13:45-46: "The Price Is Right"
Alternate sermon based on Genesis 29:28: "A Promise Fulfilled"
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