(Click verse above to see the entire reading)
“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 12:15
(click the title above for the sermon podcast)
We have an interesting relationship with our stuff, we Americans.
In worship this week, I took some time to read a few statistics of this unique abundance we have here in the US. If you didn’t listen to the message (though you should) and you’d like to see some of them – click here.
Today we come across Jesus being pretty blunt about our relationship with money -and what happens when it switches from wealth to greed.
Jesus tells a parable, where the lack of any other person is pretty clear.
The man talks about himself and TO himself throughout. He doesn’t talk about using his abundance for anyone else.
Jesus reminds those gathered that our life is not and cannot be found in our stuff.
It’s found in God, and in each other.
To start our time together on Sunday I had those gathered think about the times in their life when they felt the most alive, the most true to who they were created to be – and then write down who they were with or where they were.
And you want to know what? No one wrote down stuff. Everyone wrote down moments with God or with loved ones.
This is exactly the point Jesus is making – that our life isn’t found in our things. And a life without a relationship with God and with others isn’t really life at all.
This is a tough reminder and lesson for those gathered around Jesus and for those of us today.
But that new life in Christ, not attached to our possessions, is given freely to each of us.
Not new stuff, but new life.
Questions To Ponder or Discuss
1. Which of the statistics about Americans and our stuff was the most shocking to you? Why?
2. Does your stuff ever feel like it’s weighing you down?
3. If you had to make that same list that is mentioned above and in the message, who or what or where is on your list? What is it about those people and places that makes you feel alive?
4. How much stuff do you have that isn’t on that list that might distract you from true real life in Christ?
Look honestly at your relationship with your stuff this week. Does it help you live a full life? Does it weigh you down? Take the list you made and put it where you need the reminder of where abundant life is really found.