Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Kingdom of Heaven…

…is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field

So says Matthew 13. I have been thinking about this verse a lot recently, as I have been given a set of 4 postcards showing pictures of “The Staffordshire Hoard”

This treasure was found in a field near Lichfield in the summer of 2009. It is the largest ever hoard of Anglo Saxon treasure ever found in Britain. 5kg gold and 1.3kg silver - rather eclipsing the 1.5kg Sutton Hoo Treasure found in 1939.

I have four postcards – but you can find a complete slide show of all the artefacts at the official website.

There is a beautiful horse’s head


part of a dagger hilt


and another sword hilt


Almost all of the items are weaponry or armoury – they date from the 7th century. One item [picture courtesy of the website] is this strip of gold

biblical strip

The Latin inscription is from the Book of Numbers chapter 10

“Surge domine et dissipentur inimici tui et fugiant qui oderunt te a facie tua”

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face”

But the fourth postcard in my set is this one


I couldn’t work it out at first, but on the back of the card it explains “There are four crucifixes in the hoard. This one is the largest, and has been folded at some time before being buried, perhaps to make it fit into a small space”

The website talks about ‘a lack of apparent respect shown to this Christian symbol’ – and suggests that maybe it was pagans who buried the hoard.

…but it has made me think. Are we, as Christians, sometimes guilty of trying to fold up the Cross into a neat little package, so we can make it fit into our lives? Bending our theology to make it a little more comfortable to live with? I need to ponder a bit more about this

Have a blessed Sunday!


  1. Yes, excellent point.

    I didn't know that the Staffordshire hoard contained Christian items. How wonderful!

  2. Fascinating, Angela! Yes, I've been reading Matthew and Galatians and thinking the same thing.

  3. Lovely hoard( Anglo Saxons always a favourite) and you managed to combine it with THEOLOGY too - a winning post, Angela!

    I think that one of the easiest ways to see when we are compromising the gospel is in hindsight (sadly). Isn't it easy to see how Christian slave owners, or crusaders, or Inquisitionists, bent the cross to fit? But isn't it hard to see how we are doing that in our own lives?

  4. Pc was preaching this morning about turning (friendship) evangelism into something cute and cuddly- folding the "offensive" stuff away so as not to offend. This s picture is striking indeed. Haunting...

  5. Wow, that treasure is amazing! My sister and bro-in-law are wanting to be ministers in England. It's nice to meet someone who already is. :)



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