Things of Value

Life Notes—July 29, 2010

“And he said to them, ‘Take care!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’”  Luke 11:9-10 

Things of Value

Jesus is speaking with a man in a crowd who is concerned about the division of his family inheritance.  He tells a parable about a rich man who has such an abundance of crops and goods he has to build bigger barns to hold it all.  After filling his new barns God says to him, “You fool!  This very night your life is being demanded of you.  And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”  The parable is summed up nicely in the current vernacular: “You can’t take it with you when you go.” 

Sometimes we assume there is nothing from earth we take with us, but is that really true?  Perhaps looking at what we know we cannot take with us will help us understand what might travel with us.  When we understand what we may take with us, we can better understand the true and eternal treasures we should work to accumulate on earth.  

It is probably safe to assume we cannot take our homes, cars, guitars, bodies, knick-knacks, money, stocks and bonds, friends, family, television sets, computers, cell phones, food, gardens and jobs.  There are a number of things we hope do not travel with us, including worries, illness, pimples and bills.  Even though the things in these lists consume major parts of our lives and attention, it’s probably a safe bet such “consumables” are meant only as tools for accumulating eternal wealth. 

What does that leave?  I suggest maybe that which imprints on our consciousness and the consciousness of others remains and is carried across that mysterious life-death boundary.  Love, memories, impacts on the lives of others, service, that which the relationships we nurture leaves.  If we look to the life of Jesus, he had very little in the way of physical possessions.  Everything he had was given in service to others until even his body, broken and completely spent, was sacrificed on the cross for us.  His impact lives on, even today.  How much of our lives do we spend building eternal vs. temporary wealth? 

Unlike the rich man in the parable, may we learn to use and share what we are given, rather than hording that with no eternal value.  If we cannot take it with us, it really does not belong to us, does it?  Lord, help us allow our possessions to flow through us, rather than sticking to us. 

Tom’s sermon title (downtown) is “Prosperity Theology;” Mitch’s sermon (west campus) is “Money Sermon,” and both are based on Luke 12:13-21.  Life worship begins at 10:45 in Brady hall.  Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary.  Contemporary worship at the west campus is at 9:30.  Communion will be served at all services. 

Come home to worship this Sunday.  Strugglers welcome!

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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