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Archive for September, 2013

NOT FOR POLITE COMPANY

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Many of us learned that there are three things you don’t talk about in polite company (and certainly not in church): money, sex and politics.  If you followed this maxim, however, you’d be cutting out a good part of our Scriptures, since these are major topics in both Testaments.  In fact, once again wealth is the topic of this coming Sunday’s lessons.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said that “the rich are different” than you and me.  To which Ernest Hemingway replied, “Yes, they have more money.”

Recent Gospel readings come down hard on the well-to-do. This past Sunday, the dishonest manager—who told the debtors to lie about what they owed — is praised by his master ‘because he had acted shrewdly.”  Then, in a puzzling non-sequitur, Jesus tells his followers “You cannot serve God and wealth.”

In the lesson for this coming Sunday, a rich man is sent to hell   because he failed to show compassion and got his “heaven’ in this life, while dirt-poor Lazarus is carried away by the angels to a glorious afterlife.

Is Jesus speaking metaphorically?  Let’s hope so.  Or does God have a “problem” with wealthy people? Realistically, what are we to do?

By the way, this means you: If you live on more than $10 a day – you are richer than 80% of the world.

See you in church next Sunday –– the sermon will consider wealth, privilege, and the faithful life.  It’s okay to bring your defensiveness with you – along with an open heart.  

Barbara

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