By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
In 2015, two metal-detector hobbyists drove ninety minutes north of their homes to a city in the West Midlands of England named Eye. The area was mostly farmland, filled with trees and cropland, small houses dot the countryside.
The two men made quick work of the farmland, scanning it with their metal detectors.
It was when they reached a place called King’s Hall Hill that they suddenly picked up a signal. They dropped their detectors and began to dig. About three feet down, they uncovered a great cache of ancient objects: a gold arm bangle in the shape of a snake, a pendant made from crystal and gold, a gold ring with octagonal facets, a silver ingot, and what appeared to be hundreds of silver coins.
They’d hit the mother lode of ancient Viking treasure.
The two men snapped a few photos to remind them of the spot so they could return with the proper excavation equipment.
According to English law, if rare archeological artifacts are discovered, you are required to report it to the Finds Liaison Office. As the finder, you are entitled to half of the market value and the landowner is entitled to the other half.
Unfortunately, these two men did not follow the law. They failed to notify the landowner on whose property the treasure was found as well as the Find Liason Office. Instead, they gradually began selling the coins on the black market for thousands of dollars a piece, keeping all the money for themselves.
Eventually, word reached the Finds Liaison Office, who reached out to the two men, reminding them of the law’s requirement to relinquish treasure to the proper authorities. But the two men claimed ignorance, saying they didn’t know what the Liaison Officer was talking abouts.
The crime continued. The men pawned out coins to any shady dealers that would buy them. They made hundreds of thousands of dollars. But they were sloppy, and their crimes eventually caught up to them.
The men were arrested, tried, and found guilty. One of the men was sentenced to ten years and the other to eight years in prison.
Why do I tell this story?
My fear is that, all too often, once we have found God, we keep Him to ourselves. In the moment of salvation, we experience His transforming power and overwhelming grace, and yet we fail to share it.
The two men were required by law to give their treasure over to the Crown. Most of the time, found treasures were donated to museums so that everyone can be enlightened and enjoy the treasure that was found. But the two metal detectorists hoarded their treasure instead.
What have you done with your treasure? This Christmas season is the perfect chance to share the treasure you’ve found in a humble baby, born in a manger–the Savior of the world.
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