Sharing Christ Within the Community

Trash or Treasure

Trash or Treasure

1 Peter 1:3,4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Homer and Langley Collyer were sons of a respected New York doctor. Both brothers studied at Columbia University, Homer earned a law degree, and Langley earned an engineering degree. In the 1920s both their parents died and the brothers inherited the family home and a very large estate. As a result, the brothers were financially set. But the brothers adopted a hermit-like lifestyle which was certainly not consistent with their wealth and status. They boarded up the windows of their home and barricaded all the doors. All their utilities, including their water, were eventually shut off.

On March 21, 1947, the police were informed by an anonymous caller that there was a dead body inside the Collyer home. The authorities were unable to force their way through the front door, so they had to enter the house through a window on the second story. Inside they found Homer Collyer’s corpse, he was blind, paralyzed, starved to death. But that wasn’t the worse.

The brothers were hoarders, they collected everything and anything. The house was full of newspapers, old machinery, car parts, folding chairs, you name it, they had it. All of it was absolutely useless. The investigators were forced to use the second-story window for three weeks because of all the junk inside. Nearly three weeks later,  as workers were lifting and hauling heaps of junk away, they made another ghastly discovery, Langley Collyer’s body was buried beneath a pile of rubbish not far from where Homer had died. Langley had been crushed by a crude booby trap he had designed to keep away intruders.

The garbage that had eventually been taken from the home of Homer and Langley Collyer weighed 140 tons. One-hundred-and-forty tons of junk. That is hard to fathom – Hard to understand. Hard to grasp. But even more disheartening, Homer and Langley Collyer are a sad analogy of the way many people in the church live their lives today. Although the Collyer’s inheritance was sufficient for all their needs, they lived unnecessarily in self-imposed filth. They cut themselves off from everyone else, and treated their inheritance as a dump, collecting and treasuring the world’s garbage.

As Christians, we don’t want to live like that. As Christians, we don’t want to neglect the riches of an inheritance that can never be defiled. As Christians, we don’t want to delve into the wreckage of worldly wisdom, and in doing so, accumulate all kinds of worldly junk. We don’t need to be chasing and accumulating sensational experiences, or new teachings, in order to add to the horde of spiritual experiences that many strive after. And most of it if not all of it, is completely worthless – they traded their treasure for trash.

Remember all the riches and resources we will ever need are freely available and accessible to us in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Until Next Time.