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"Reaching for Pearls?" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

It is one of the most interesting places I have ever visited. In the year 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted in Italy. It destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii and Herculaneum. When the volcano erupted, people had only minutes to get away.

Archeologists have found some interesting remains in the ancient city of Pompeii, including a dog that was found tied to a stake, desperately trying to escape.

The Wall Street Journal reported on a recent excavation. “Nearby are the remains of a man who was carrying a bag of bronze and silver coins when stricken.” (WSJ, August 20, 2020, page A11)

A woman was found whose feet were pointed away from town and the volcano, but whose upper body was turned backwards trying to get something. What do you think she was reaching for? She was reaching for a bag of pearls.

Now certainly, those pearls were beautiful and worth a lot of Roman currency. But sadly, she had lost sight of the fact that her life was more important than some valuable jewelry.

You know, it is so easy today for our values to be somewhat distorted and confused. It didn’t only happen in age-old Pompeii. It can actually happen to us.

Jesus warned us about this with these words: “Watch out. Be on your guard against all kinds of greed. Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

An important word for us from ancient Pompeii . . . and the Gospel.

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