Treasure Find Near Newtownabbey

Treasure Find Near Newtownabbey

A number of news and media outlets have carried news today of a treasure find on the outskirts of Newtownabbey. Treasure Hunter Tom Ross found a rare 300 year old ring in a ploughed field that apparently used to be the site of a church and graveyard.  From the 1500s on engaged couples exchanged 'posy rings' as a sign of their commitment to each other and it is one of these gold rings that Tom found. 

The ring contained an Old English inscription 'I noght on gift bot gifer' which translates into modern English as 'Look not on the gift but to the giver.'

There's something hugely poignant about the idea of someone, not far from here, getting a ring engraved in the late 1600s, for someone they loved, losing it in a field, only for it to turn up three hundred years later. But there's also something really poignant in that line 'Look not to the gift but to the giver.'

The Bible talks a lot about the many gifts that God gives to each one of us. But the Bible is also hugely honest in saying that often we fall into a pattern of enjoying what God gives without acknowledging Him. We look to the gifts but not the giver. In so doing we miss the greatest gift of all, the gift of knowing God in a living and personal way.

And then in a field just outside Newtownabbey an old ring turns up, with wise but ancient words that encourage us to pause and take stock.

In looking to the Giver there is something hidden, and yet of incredible worth to be found. Jesus Himself put it this way "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field-- and to get the treasure, too!' (Matthew 13:44)