Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Being rich

Background reading: Luke 16:19-31
Daily reading: Luke 16:14-17
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Focus passage: The Pharisees, who were money-lovers, heard all of this and sneered at Jesus.  He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves before other people, but God knows your hearts.  What is highly valued by people is deeply offensive to God.” Luke 16:14-15

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is a response to the Pharisees “who were money-lovers.”  The rich man in the story is over the top in his wealth and self-centeredness and so we might think to ourselves. “I’m so glad I am not like him.”    I am not wealthy like him and I’m not at the other end of the spectrum with Lazarus.

But as soon as I distance myself from the rich man, reality seeps in and I find myself asking, did you have to walk miles this morning to get clean drinking water for your family?

No.  I just turned on my tap.

On a weekly basis I also go through the ritual of cleaning out my fridge which results in throwing away food that has gone bad.  And I think about if my family was really in need then we wouldn’t have an excess of food in our home.

On a global scale even those who are living on welfare in our country are rich.

But there are also many who are homeless, many who have to choose housing over feeding their families in our country.  Many who have to make really hard decisions that my family doesn’t have to make.

And it is when I wake up and realize this; I can see that I am much more like the rich man in the parable than I would like to admit.  I have to then ask myself am I being a good faithful steward of all that I have to help in God’s Kingdom work?  Do I see the poor in my community and help work to create lasting change and not just react to emergency situations?
The parable forces us to ask not just if we love God more than money with our heart but if our actions demonstrate a love for God more than money.

Prayer: God this week open my eyes to my own poverty of spirit and help me to let go of the allures of this world for your kingdom.  Amen.

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