For several years now, one of my personal habits has been, on Sundays, meditating on the Scriptures from the Revised Common Lectionary. I do this in part because I like to know that I am reading the same Scriptures as millions of other Christians all over the world.
Back in January, on the Third Sunday after Epiphany, I found the Five Capitals in the lectionary passages as I studied and meditated. Here’s what I saw.
The Old Testament and Psalm passages that were paired together were Isaiah 9:1-4. The Isaiah passage is messianic, revealing what life will be like when God comes to save his people. It says there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress, that honor will come to Galilee, that the people walking in darkness will see a great light. It talks of enlarging the nation, increasing their joy, shattering the yoke of oppression and freedom coming to captives.
It struck me as I read: This is a description of flourishing in all five capitals. This is God’s heart and desire for his people, and it’s what it looks like when God saves his people. It’s a preview of heaven, which is where all five capitals are maxed out in abundance.
Then I read Psalm 27 and came upon this:
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
The thought that came to me then was that the key to all of the wonderful Isaiah 9 stuff happening was Psalm 27 seeking. Seeking the one thing above all else. One thing I ask … this only do I seek … that I may dwell, and gaze, and seek him.
The ironic thing about the kingdom is that the way to get everything is to seek only one thing. You can’t save your life by trying to save it. The only way is to lose it. You can’t find abundant life by striving, the only way in is by dying. You don’t get the five capitals in abundance by seeking the five capitals. It only comes through seeking the one thing. When we do so, we find that our inheritance is everything.
Jesus said this, of course. After telling his disciples to stop worrying about their daily provisions, he summed it up by saying, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
We aim past the target and find that we tend to hit it.
What are you needing today? Financial provision? Intellectual growth? Physical healing? Relational mending? The key to all of those very real problems starts with Psalm 27: “One thing I ask of the Lord, this only do I seek.” Whatever your need, its provision dwells in God himself, so as we learn to abide in Him, we find that he does meet all our needs.
Hear Jesus’ promise again today in the midst of your need: “If you abide in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Seek first the kingdom today, and trust that all the other capital that’s needed will be provided.