Thursday, May 28, 2009

"I'M (not?) RICH!"

"But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation..."
(Luke 6:24).

I'm not rich. At least not compared to others I know. And yet, compared to most of the rest of the world, I'm extremely rich. Many, many people live on less than $2/day. I spend more than that on my oatcake every morning at Starbucks for breakfast. So it's with a bit of hesitation that I journal today on this passage from Jesus' Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6 (Matthew has Jesus give this very same teaching on a mountain, by the way).

The other night I showed a DVD teaching to the leaders of my church. It was by Tony Campolo, sociologist and professor at Eastern University in PA. Tony gave the talk this past March at the Hawaiian Islands' Ministries' "Honolulu 2009" conference. He spoke about wealth, the economy, and the Kingdom of God. But what was most powerful was his personal critique of how he had trusted in his wealth far more than he invested in the Kingdom. He was seduced by the dominant culture in which he lived. And he was now ashamed.

I've been thinking a lot about my "wealth." I'm not rich... and yet I am. Am I one who has come to trust (read "preserve") my wealth... so it becomes my "consolation"? Or am I open to releasing my wealth for the good of the Kingdom of God? Wow... it's probably easier said than done, isn't it?

PRAYER: God, you have blessed me with financial resources. I like to think I need to take care of myself and provide for my family. And yet, you call me to look out at the world around me that is hurting, dying, hungering, thirsting & in such great need. Help me to release the resources you've given... not hold on to them with a tight fist. I want YOU to be my consolation... not my (your!) resources. AMEN.

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