Luke 12:13-21

During the season of Lent our devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church.  Today’s writer is Bridget Kennedy.

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’

So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.” Luke 12:13-21

Jesus is in the middle of encouraging his disciples to confess even when they are under duress, when he is interrupted by someone in the crowd who wants Jesus to settle a financial dispute between siblings.

Jesus, however, refuses to enter into the family squabble and instead uses the situation as an opportunity to teach about the seduction of wealth.

Most of us have at some point bought into the belief that if we can just earn, make, or buy a little more, then we will be okay. Things will be good, but when the new car, or laptop, or sneakers fail to transform our circumstances it hurts.

Nevertheless, the false promise that we can meet our deepest needs materially has been embedded so deeply in our culture that all too often our response to disappointment with material goods is to shop some more.

Rarely have I spoken with friends after a mission-trip to a materially poorer part of the world and not heard testimony to the humbling generosity of their native hosts.

Money is often the cultural elephant in the room. So what are we to do?

All I know is that everything is a gift offered by God. It’s hard to find the balance in getting stuff and being generous, but it’s important. I hope that we place our relative wealth in perspective and be more generous with it toward others.

Let us pray: God, help us remember that life is not about the money we make or the things we own in the end. Help us be generous. Grant us peace with what we have. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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