Hosea 11:1-11. Judgement is prophesied for Israel because of the people’s idolatry and un-faithfulness, but God’s compassion and love for God’s people makes judgement difficult for God, and so restoration is also promised.
Psalm 107:1-9, 43. Praise for God’s unfailing love, and God’s salvation of God’s people when in distress. The history of God’s people reveals God’s faithful love.
Colossians 3:1-11. Because of Christ’s life in us, we are called to prioritise the values of heaven over the values of earth, and to avoid the greed and lust that of “earth-bound” exist-ence. Rather, recognising that we are all the same in Christ, we are to find our life in Christ, and seek to become like our God.
Luke 12:13-21. In warning against greed, Jesus tells a parable of a wealthy man who feels secure because of his great riches, but whose wealth becomes meaningless when he dies. Then Christ challenges us to seek a rich relationship with God instead of material riches.
Rev Tania writes:
Where do you place your faith? Does the idea of trusting God for protection, provision and justice sound naive and unrealistic to you? Yet, this is exactly what the Scriptures call us to do – to live differently from the self-protective, wealth accumulating, customs of our world, and place our trust in God.
The theme of this week’s readings is not hard to discern – all of the readings contrast a life of dependence on wealth with the life of dependence on God. All the readings warn against greed and speak about the danger of making wealth our goal and our security.
In the face of the huge challenges we face in the world this may sound completely out of touch, but, when the role of money in so many of those challenges is recognised, the call to give up our faith in finance and reclaim a true, child-like faith in God becomes disturbingly relevant and subversive.
In Hosea and in Psalm 107, God’s salvation and care is promised, even when God’s people have needed to be disciplined and corrected. When it comes to making our way in the world, the quest for money too easily becomes an end in itself, and will ultimately lead us into destruction, and to bringing suffering on ourselves and others.
However, when life is found in our relationship with God, and in basing our lives on the values of God’s reign, we bring life and joy to ourselves and others, and our lives have eternal value.
Ultimately, we all need to choose the priorities by which we will live.
May your worship this week move you into a place of deeper trust in God, and more courageous challenge of the culture of accumulation in our world.
Blessings as we are clothed to grow into Christ! Rev Tania