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Religion: A Pastor Ponders

The measure of treasure

By Pastor William Jenkins

January 19, 2007

League City News - League City Methodist Church Picture Some of you may remember this line from a once popular song, “Take out the papers and the trash…yackety yack, don’t talk back.” Well, I have been pondering trash this week. What started this was the debris along the curbsides after Christmas. Waste management companies must really dread the days after Christmas. Huge piles of boxes and bags are stacked in every neighborhood. One might gauge how merry Christmas was at each residence by the amount of trash generated from Christmas day. Supposedly, large piles of trash would mark homes that had a merrier Christmas than homes with only a meager pile of trash.

When I was in seminary students in the housing units calculated the prosperity of their neighbors by the amount of garbage they put out for collection. Those who were getting along well had more garbage than those of us who were struggling to make a go of it. Unfortunately, the larger bags of garbage became a source of envy.

Trash is a double edged sword. On the one hand trash is an indication of how obsessed we are with the god of consumerism. We consume in an effort to maintain and improve the quality of our lives. Shopping malls are the sacred temples of a consumer oriented culture. On the other hand trash is an indication that we are insuring steady employment for the people who provide things for us to consume. Nothing lasts forever and eventually, everything we consume ends up in the garbage dump. It is this endless cycle of consuming, using and throwing away that makes the economy go.

Curbside collections are not the only measure of our treasures. Things we buy, use and discard are the cheap things of life, regardless of how much we pay for them.

The truly priceless things are those we cannot buy but add immeasurably to the quality of our lives; things like love, joy, peace, hope, faith, abundant and eternal life and the like. James 1:17 reminds us that these gifts are from God. Unlike Christmas gifts God’s priceless gifts do not leave a residue of trash.

League City United Methodist Church is located at 1411 Main Street (FM 518), one block east of Interstate 45. For information, call the church offices at 281-332-1557 or visit the website at


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