Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rich in Things; Poor in Soul

Luke 12:13-21
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."

I am rich in so much:
a loving family,
a safe home,
a good job,
a strong church,
money in savings,
reliable cars,
technology at my finger tips...

I work at all these things...
I work to keep them and get more...

But I wonder --
Am I poor in what really matters?
Love for you,
Love for my neighbors (all of them!),
Generosity to those in need,
Hospitality to others,
Grace in ungracious times,
Humility in the face of pride,
Boldness in times of crisis,
Faith in you in the uncertainty,
Self-giving service,
Reconciling ministry,
Campassion for others...

I'm reminded of words from the hymn:
"God of Grace and God of Glory"
Cure Thy children’s warring madness,
Bend our pride to Thy control.
Shame our wanton selfish gladness,
Rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal.
Help me work for the heavenly treasures
that have eternal signifance.

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