Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Money! Money! Money!

The readings for this Sunday, 23rd September can be as follows Jeremiah 8:18:9:1 and Psalm 79:1-9 1 Timothy 2:1-7 Luke 16:1-13


We continue our reflection on how we grow our relationship with God
and the idea would seem to be quite direct
You can't serve God and wealth.
I actually think it is as blunt as that.
It is not so much a statement about God
as about the fiendish nature of money.
It is not a spiritually neutral phenomenon.
It requires of us a certain degree of commitment
and we can be deceived about thinking that we have this well under our control.
The story that we read as this morning Gospel is a curious story. It is not so much a single pointed 'parable'
as an illustration of what happens when things go pear-shaped.
A man gets caught defrauding his boss
he knows he is going to get sacked
and so takes steps to avoid being found friendless.
He rings up all his friends and cuts their debts to the company in half.
At least when he is out on the street
he will not be without friends
People always like people who have saved them money!

Then as if this story is nopt curious enough
when this man finally encounters his boss, 
the boss laughs and compliments him on his trickiness.

What is going on?
Unlike other parables...maybe this story is not so much a parable
as an illustration...
we are not really being told how to behave
rather we see what what the world of money is like
it is slippery and slidey
and people do all sorts of strange things.
Not so the world of God
the Lord reminds us.
God's world is not like this chaotic world
and you can't deal with God in the way you have to deal with money.

Don't be stupid about it, Jesus reminds us,
In the world you will need to be as wise as those wo are trying to rip you off.
But you can't be like this and serve God.

This is a timely warning for everyone.
The lure of wealth is very seductive.
The teaching of Jesus is very clear.
No one can serve two masters.

This week
  • Can you reflect where you have given in to the seduction of money?
  • Where is God calling you to be generous, where you have become greedy; where do you need to confront your selfishness?

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