Nine years ago this week Terry Herbert struck gold, while searching a field with a metal detector near Hammerwich in Staffordshire, UK. He unearthed a hoard of Anglo-Saxon, gold and silver objects buried in the ground; mostly high quality military items, e.g. decorative pieces from the handles of swords and daggers. Altogether the hoard consisted of around 4,000 items, valued at approximately £3,285 million, and today is known as the Staffordshire Hoard.
Metal detectors are a relatively recent invention, but finding treasure has been going on for millennia. The ancient scriptures record a story that Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.” (Matthew 13:44 NLT)
In other words, like buried treasure, the riches of a relationship with our Creator are not immediately obvious to the outsider. However, once discovered they are life-transforming and beyond price; to us they are free, yet they cost Jesus everything.
So what can we discover about our Creator? Firstly, God is neither male nor female, yet both men and women are made in “His” image; we share His characteristics. He is loving and gentle, a creator of beauty, who cares passionately for His creation. He is also wise, all-powerful, commanding respect and providing for all who follow Him. Being far greater than an ‘energy’ or a ‘force’, He is knowable and all-knowing. In fact He knows each of us intimately, even if we don’t yet know Him. Having spent 33 years living as one of us, He can relate to us and what we go through.
He’s not impressed by religion – Jesus was religious hypocrisy’s biggest critic. Instead He looks for those who genuinely desire to know Him. His call to each one of us is:
“Seek me and live.”
Amos 5:4 (NIVUK)
And how do we seek Him? Well, not with a metal detector! But talking to Him is a good start. We don’t need elaborate words; we don’t have to be in a special place. He’s already listening and simply wants us to share what’s on our heart.
If those with metal detectors work hard to discover what they will one day leave behind, shouldn’t we make the effort to discover a relationship that will last for eternity?