January 25, 2020
Scripture: Luke 12:15-21
Then Jesus said to them, “Watch out! Guard yourself against all kinds of greed. After all, one’s life isn’t determined by one’s possessions, even when someone is very wealthy.” Then he told them a parable: “A certain rich man’s land produced a bountiful crop. He said to himself, What will I do? I have no place to store my harvest! Then he thought, Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. That’s where I’ll store all my grain and goods. I’ll say to myself, You have stored up plenty of goods, enough for several years. Take it easy! Eat, drink, and enjoy yourself. But God said to him, ‘Fool, tonight you will die. Now who will get the things you have prepared for yourself?’ This is the way it will be for those who hoard things for themselves and aren’t rich toward God.”
Thought for the Day: As I have often said, there is no other place in scripture where there are so many first person pronouns clumped into just a few verses. Of course, that’s Jesus making a point. Greed and a self-absorbed attitude are not the way of God, but those last few words are interesting: those who “aren’t rich toward God.” The Greek word we translate as “rich” comes from the root word: Pletho. It is where we get our English word, plethora, which means an excessive amount. In the Greek, it means to fill. Jesus appears to be confronting those who fill themselves with stuff instead of allowing themselves to be filled by God. Is there something in your life – something tangible, something monetary – to which you might be a tad too connected? Does it act like an obstacle that keeps God’s gifts from being poured into you? We probably all have something, yet why is it that we are slow to name it and even more lackadaisical in removing it? What are the well shaped excuses that we tell ourselves? What does it mean to find happiness with less, and only then to discover that we are actually filled in a way that we previously could not imagine? Is there something you do not currently own, but the yearning for it is probably spiritually unhealthy if you were honest with yourself? I was always challenged by the words: Live Simply so others might Simply Live. I cannot agree more, but even taking a step back I must ask: Are we really living if we are filling ourselves with more and more stuff?
Prayer: I yearn to be rich in you, Lord God. I yearn to be filled with your way of love put on display in the life of Jesus. With all the distractions and temptations, I will most certainly need your help. Be my guide. Amen.
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