- READINGS to help us prepare for this Sunday:
Lord of Light, shine upon these words the very truth of your being, that we may read and be brought into deeper relationship with you. Amen.
Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15. In spite of his prophecies of the destruction of Judah, Jeremiah buys his cousin’s field and proclaims God’s word that people will again buy property in the land of Judah.
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16. God promises refuge, protection and long life to those who trust in God.
1 Timothy 6:6-19. Followers of Christ are encouraged to be content with what they have, not to strive after wealth, and to share generously with others.
Luke 16:19-31. Jesus tells a parable about a wealthy man who failed to share with the poor beggar outside of his gates, and who finds himself in torment after death, while Lazarus, the beggar, finds himself in comfort.
The Reverend Tania Writes.
The Lectionary continues to challenge us about money, wealth and poverty. It’s not a particularly new theme to explore, but it is a significant focus of the Gospel, and an integral part of our mission as Church.
In a continuation of last week’s themes, the subject of money is revisited, but this time, it is connected with the ideas of compassion and generosity. In a generous act of optimism, Jeremiah buys his cousin’s land, even though he knows that Judah will be conquered. The Psalm stresses the importance of trusting God rather than people or things, and Timothy warns against seeking to accumulate wealth for its own sake.
Finally, in a dramatic parable, Jesus contrasts the consequence of wealth that is not shared with the plight, and salvation of the poor. There is no question, in the light of this, that God is “on the side” of the poor, that God calls us to put our trust in God, and that wealth is to be shared and distributed equitably.
For those of us who are among the wealthy (which pretty much includes anyone who has internet access to read this) God’s word is direct and challenging – the poor need our faith, our generosity and our voice which challenges the wealthy to share. But, they also need our optimism, and the prophetic voice that trusts in God’s purposes over human wisdom or systems.
May we be challenged to continue to seek creative ways to bring good news to the poor as we worship this week.
Blessings as we live a Gospel-centered life! Rev Tania