Friday, July 29 2022
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4).
In today’s Gospel story Jesus is in Galilee teaching, healing the sick and bringing about the Kingdom of God. Thousands of people have gathered and are pressing in on Jesus to hear what he is saying and to witness these alleged miracles that they have heard about. The crowd was anxious to hear him for a variety of reasons. Some came to be healed. Some came to hear the Rabbi speak. Many were not believers and had come to call him out as a phony and an imposter. Can you even imagine one political party trying to make the other party look bad in our time?
While Jesus is teaching his disciples, someone in the crowd brings a request before Jesus. What he wants is a simple settlement of an inheritance dispute with his brother. “Tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me,” he says to Jesus. He wants more than he is legally allowed and wants Jesus to get him more than he deserves. Jesus rebukes the man, saying, “Who appointed me to be a judge over you?” Then, he brings up the topic of spiritual integrity. He tries to give the crowd a new understanding of possessions and their relationship with God. The rich fool built larger barns and filled them with his crops. He is finally satisfied with what he has and on that day his life comes to an end. The question is not, “Who has stored up the most treasure.” The question is, “How were you able to use what God gave you to make the world better.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The Good Samaritan was good because he was tough minded enough to gain economic security and tender hearted enough to have compassion for wounded brother on life’s highway. The rich fool was foolish not because he wasn’t tough minded but because he wasn’t tender hearted.” The trouble with the rich fool in the parable is his relationship to his possessions. The trouble is that in storing up his possessions for himself, he has forgotten God. He has forgotten that everything that he received was from God and that he needed to give back a portion of what he had. A hard hearted person does not feel the love, mercy and compassion of God. The rich fool becomes so self-absorbed, self-centered and self-sufficient that he believes he has complete control over his possessions and his life including his soul. The rich fool has deceived himself to think that the abundance of his possessions can satisfy the hunger and thirst of his soul. But it is faith in God and the love, compassion, and mercy of God that fills our deepest desire and gives us a fulfilling life.
On Sunday July 31st, we will host the United for Ukraine Fundraiser. There will be music, art, jewelry, the St. John’s Thrift Shop, food, a silent auction, baskets, and baked goods. Everyone is asked to come and enjoy Alex in concert at 1:15 and George at 5:45 in the sanctuary. Please volunteer to help, bring baked goods or just stay and enjoy the afternoon of music and fun.
In Christ’s love,