Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6: 19-21)
“Home is where the heart is,” the old adage says, and since Jesus said that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” it’s no wonder that so many people set such store on finding a home, being at home, going home.
Going home is a theme in The Hobbit that is particularly emphasized in Peter Jackson’s recent movies. There is a pivotal scene in the first film, just after the party's escape from the goblins, in which Bilbo Baggins finally comes to a realization about the nature of the dwarves’ quest. For most of the journey so far, he has been wishing that he had stayed home. He would like nothing better than to be back at Bag End, reading his books and smoking his pipe and eating his second breakfast. However, at the same time that the hobbit is acknowledging his longing for home, he recognizes the same longing in the dwarves, whose hearts lie in the Lonely Mountain alongside their literal treasure. Seeing this common bond between them, movie-Bilbo then pledges to help the dwarves in their quest.
Bilbo’s treasure is simplicity and comfort - a snug house, plenty of food, pathways on which to ramble and books to read by the fire. The dwarves’ treasure is gold and jewels and the strength of a mighty mountain stronghold. Where is your treasure? Is it on earth, where goblin armies can invade and dragons can make their beds out of it? Is it in a far away land where friends and neighbors can auction it off to the highest bidder because they think you will never return? Or is it in heaven, in God’s presence, in the intangibles of love and family and peace and worship that no one can ever take away? Choose wisely and you’ll always have a place to call home.