September 25, 2019
Scripture Luke 16:1-13
"Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?”
Luke 16:10-12 NRSV
These fairly familiar verses follow the interesting parable of the dishonest steward. One of several topics that Jesus introduces is this: Even if we understand the shrewdest business deal, we need to keep perspective on the role of wealth in our lives. We will not earn a heavenly reward for our business acumen. But, if we are able to identify the true riches, which are from God, we are much more likely to be in line with the teachings of Christ. And, our life in Christ is more likely to lead to activities that reflect God’s will for our lives and serve the purposes of God’s kingdom.
And, where and when will that occur? To paraphrase the great narrative preacher, Fred Craddock, we will find it nearly anytime in the simple and uncomplicated routines of our life: giving someone a cup of water, telling a child a story, teaching a Sunday school class, and sharing a meal with just about anyone. These are the simple acts of kindness which do not have an agenda, other than filling a need and extending ourselves just a little. The last portion of this scripture is familiar, as well:
“No slave can serve two masters…. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Luke 16:13 NRSV
The conclusion is plain: God places a claim on our lives through Jesus Christ.
Where do you and I find ourselves in providing love and charity in the use of our wealth and talents?