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Archive for August 4th, 2013

Lessons: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-26, Psalm 100, Colossians 3:1-11, 

Luke 12:13-21

 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

 

Jesus sees through the man’s question about dividing the inheritance.  It was about covetousness, so Jesus warns everyone about covetousness.  His warning is right from the Law of God. The Apostle Paul makes it clear:  covetousness is idolatry.  Once the desire for money gets hold to make everything all right, then we are back to the first commandment:  you shall have no other gods before Me.  We are to fear, love and trust in God above ALL THINGS.  Then with a false god we do not call upon the true God but might rain His damnation on others, forget His day and work our way through the 10 commandments to the last 2 on coveting.  Old Adam really needs two commandments on coveting. It’s one vicious circle…without the Lord.   Next to the Lord, maybe advertisers know the Old Adam as well.  Advertisers want you to want and we want it.  The rich man, the rich fool as Jesus called him in His parable, drowned in his own desires, this night your soul is demanded of you.  The rich fool’s only demand was for more, eat, drink and be merry:  all for himself.

 I get all confused by which age group is called Generation Y, Gen X, Millenials and I know my own: Baby Boom. Pop sociology dubbed one of those  generations the “me generation”.  In our Lord’s short parable, the rich man refers to

my barns

my grain

my goods

my crops

my soul

Even when the rich man is thinking through his plans for the future, he speaks to “my soul”, he talks to himself, no one else in sight.  He has it all figured out.  He’s in control…so he thinks. When I look at the table of contents for the start-up menu on  a computer it lists:

my documents

my music

my pictures

my computer

my network places

Me generation? So what else is new? Every generation is born with the propensity go Gimme, the Me Generation.  Is there anything new under the sun? Not when it comes to the plans and lusts of man.  But in Jesus Christ all things are made new.  An orthodox priest after hearing confessions, complained there are no new sins. There are always new forms of holiness, of the Lord’s love in service.  Covetousness puts the kibosh on serving. There is a suffocating selfishness that only the Holy Spirit can ventilate with the Word of God, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.

 Possessions can be a spiritual problem bar none.  “I just have to have…” When everything you ever wanted is not enough.  Having.  Jesus speaks of being, not what you have but who’s you are. If it is possessions then what we possess possesses us.    The first sentence spoken by the Lord after He created Adam:  It is not good for the man to be alone.  The Lord created us to be in communion with Him, each other and all of His good creation.  Our very being is for communion, but lust and desire for other person, places and things, rather than the Lord isolates us, gets us alone.  Now the Bible verses is NOT “money is the root of evil”, the actual verse is from 1 Timothy, “…the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils”. It is the love, which is really desire, even lust, or covetousness that is the part of the root problem.  And we usually do not hear the end of the 1 Timothy verse, It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.  Yet, man immolates himself daily.  The craving…this craving is as old as wanting that fruit to be like god. In effect, Eve said, I gotta have it. The self is the root problem, and this goes for rich or poor, and everyone in between. The self cut off from the Lord, doing his own thing, going my way…and getting lost:  “Fool! This night your is required of you…”

In Greek mythology,  Narcisssus was a handsome youth who loved to look at his reflection in a still pond until one day staring so long he fell into that pond and drowned. Like Narcissus, the rich fool drowned in his own possessions and died.  He drowned in his vanity. Old Adam is dead in his own vanity.  Unlike Narcissus we too have been drowned…in the waters of Holy Baptism, not to be our own, whatever the age, but His own, our sin drowned to walk in the newness of life.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Jesus died with nothing, broke, penniless, a bum.  He died literally naked.  He died with nothing…that is with the vanities of vanities of the world bent in upon itself. Old Adam builds mansions, the Second Adam, from heaven, builds us heavenly mansions of faith, hope and love. The Lord builds up up more than anyone or anything in th world ever can. As Old Adam, Jesus could not take anything with Him to the Cross, except our lusts and desires for more and more and the Cross is the wealth of His Blood.

 Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.  What does life consist and hold? 

We say “mine”, He says with His blood, Thine, Thine forgiveness, grace, mercy and peace. What is mine He made His own so we are Thine, O Lord,   and He did not owe anything to anyone, but He loved His own till the end.  Our treasure toward God is Jesus Christ, and the new self in Baptism we put on and can each and every day.  Life consists in the abundance of His grace for us.  Our treasures rot and Solomon who taught Ecclesiastes knew full the well the vanity of it all.  The Lord’s treasure does not rot, His baptism of us does not fade, for He is risen.  True love does not fade, it seeks not it’s own, it is not boastful or resentful, it does it insist on it’s own way.  The Lord’s treasure is His Word for us, with us, in us: Scripture and prayer, Sacrament and service, music and the Church, His Body.  His Word is both renewable resource and the resource, the source which renews.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

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