Friday, July 30, 2010
We have money trouble. We Christians have this love/hate relationship with money. Our attitudes are mixed like this Pink Floyd song.
Money, get away ... but give me a good job with more pay.
Money, get back ... but keep your hands off my stack.
Share it fairly ... but don’t take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today ... but they’re giving none away.
Some preachers talk like God wants everyone to be rich, and if you’re not rich, then there’s something wrong with you ... but others talk like God wants everyone to be poor, and if you’re not giving all your money away, then there’s something wrong with you.
We know that life isn’t about money ... but we spend most of our lives trying to get money and spend money.
We know that too much money can be a problem ... but we all want just a little more.
We have money trouble. We will be talking about money for the next 2 weeks. That’s never fun - for you or for me. This might be a good time to explain how we get our sermon topics each week. Sometimes, we go through sermon series on a particular topic, like family or community. You can blame me for those topics. Other times, we work through a weekly plan called the lectionary. The lectionary is a plan to help churches talk about all the important parts of the Bible within the scope of 3 years. You see, preachers - and church members too - have a tendency to read only the parts of the Bible that we like. We read our favorite stories or verses again and again, and we often ignore the difficult or challenging parts. The lectionary is designed to solve that problem. During the summer, when we’re preaching through Luke, we’re following the lectionary.
So when things get uncomfortable today (and they will), keep two things in mind. First, I didn’t choose this text. People wiser and smarter than me decided that it’s really important for Christians around the world to hear this story. Second, Jesus is the one who told this story in the first place. Sometimes we think Jesus talked all about love and being kind to people - “turn the other cheek” and stuff like that. But Jesus talked a lot about money, a whole lot. Money was one of Jesus’ most frequent topics. Jesus cares deeply about what we do with our money.
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