Now and then the state government publishes the names of people who should come forward and claim money or property that belongs to them.  

Most of us don’t expect to see our name on the list, and if we did, we might have a whole $2.13 waiting for us.  

But folks do dream about inheriting an unexpected windfall.  Something like this happened years ago.  An elderly man living in New Jersey made an unusual discovery as he paged through an old family Bible.

Years earlier, his aunt had died and left the copy of the Scriptures to him.  

His aunt’s will stated:  “To my beloved Steven Marsh I bequeath my family Bible and all its contains, along with the residue of my estate after my funeral expenses and just and lawful debts are paid.”

When it was all over, the nephew got a few hundred dollars plus the old Bible mentioned in the will.

When the money was used up, he had only a small pension to live on.  For the next thirty years he lived in poverty.

Then one day, as an old man himself, he was cleaning his attic, preparing to move to his son’s house to spend his remaining days.

There in a trunk was the old family Bible given to him so many years before.   He opened it and began to page through it.

To his amazement, there were bank notes scattered throughout the pages – worth thousands and thousands of dollars.

All those years, within his reach, were riches he could have enjoyed, which could have made his life, in some measure, easier.  It was there all the time!

It is poignant, ironic and, yes, tragic to be the rightful owners of things which could make things so much better for us – to know nothing about it – or, worse yet – to know about it and make no effort to claim that which has been bequeathed to us.  

Christ has riches waiting for you and me too between the pages of the Book He has bequeathed to us.   It is tragic to leave these treasures of word and sacraments lie there, unopened, unclaimed, unused.  Life could be so much better, richer, deeper – with Jesus at our side.  NOW is the day of salvation!

NOW is the day to claim your riches before it is too late!  NOW is the day to follow the advice of St. Paul:   “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly!”