A parishioner remarked “this is the time to discuss planned giving.”
I may, to shake it up a bit, begin with discussing why I love money. I’ll declare I’m pretty rich – which I am, compared to most people in the world. Just not compared to my neighbors. And then my retirement plan.
There’s a bit more than simply “greed is bad” going on here. Is it “greed is bad” and “you might die tomorrow”? I remember tha bumper sticker: whoever dies with the most toys wins.
Do I get political? Billionaires who have died this year have been able to create little monarchies because they’ve been able to avoid paying taxes.
Richard Layard notes the limites of happiness. Building a bigger barn won’t do it.
Catherine Caimano preaches a very good sermon, but I might try to make the challenges more severe. there’s no way to get around the apocalyptic depth of the message.
Are we being encouraged to look busy? To prepare for death? Or Is Jesus implying, “don’t save up to party in the future! Party now!” Has the world so fallen apart, that our hands are the emergency rescue team for the earth? And can we do it? Should we? Must we?
It is not an anti-abundance message, I suspect. It is a challenge to acquisitiveness for its own sake. Such tendencies are built on the foundation of our anxieties as we compare ourselves to others. Why must we compare our lives so when the only judge we need to know is Jesus Christ?
4 thoughts on “Sermon Prep, Pentecost X”
This is a very puzzling little passage…
Much of your reading will depend on how you take the last verse: “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God”–does this mean that those who store up things for themselves cannot be rich toward God? Or that you should feel free to store things up for yourself as long as you’re rich toward God?
Then there’s always 1 Corinthians 15:32…
Keep up the good work, Padre! And see you in (your) church in a couple weeks!
Hey Joe! Thanks for your comment! that’s a very good point. I’m inclined toward the latter reading. However, I also think that Jesus was an “Ecclesiastes” Jew. After hanging out in the wilderness, he liked to party. So he would also eat and drink.
In order for Paul to make sense to me, I have to recognize that only if there is some completion (or resurrection) is his work justified. How can we say this in a world devoid of the supernatural? Can we? Or perhaps we can say, Jesus died so that yes, we can now eat and drink together?
There’s also the question of power and control.
Also love that little bit in Colossians: “greed (which is idolatry)”. What does that mean exactly?
right – I’m going to have to look up the greek for that. As a Girardian, I interpret it in the context of what produces rivalry and envy. Idolatry is our innate competition for God’s attention – or whatever fosters that competition.