Submitted by Jan on Tue, 30/07/2013 – 21:14
Year C (2012-2013)
Bible Book: Luke / Lukas
Verse: 13 – 21
Things have changed – nothing seems to be ‘taboo’ in the marketing and media world anymore. I am often quite amazed at the topics of advertisements and the language one hears in public places or on social media. Everything seems “acceptable”.
My pastor friends often say that there is one theme which is still easier to avoid. One theme that still causes huge amounts of resistance and criticism. No, not race. Not sex or politics. It is money! We think our money, and how we spend it, is “our own business”! This is not a topic we want to hear about in church.
In our text Jesus again talks of money! He does not avoid the topic, even though it might not be a popular topic for a preacher. Jesus often talks about money. Contrary to what is often thought, Jesus is not always critical about money or about people who are rich. But He is critical about greed! He is particularly critical about selfishness.
In many translations the heading of this section is “The rich fool”. The rich man is not foolish because he is rich!
When I reread this story, I heard “I,..I,..I,..I,..I,..I.” Even when the rich man speaks, he only speaks to himself!
I think this is why he is called foolish; He is foolish because he cannot see further than himself; He is foolish because he thinks that he is rich through his own efforts, when it is due to favourable circumstances; He is foolish because he only thinks about himself; He is foolish because he think that it is his right to be rich; He is foolish, because he thinks that he can determine his life and his future; He is foolish, because he thinks that his riches determine his future and his security.
Maybe this is why we criticise pastors when they preach about money – we do not want to be confronted by our own selfishness, our own sense of entitlement, or our own misplaced sense of security. Maybe this is also why we find it difficult to share with those in need, because we think it is our right to have what we do, we think we are entitled to “our property”, we think that our security depends on what we have!
And this is why I pray and share the prayer of Alan Paton, South African author and activist:
O Lord, open my eyes that I may see the needs of others;
open my ears that I may hear their cries;
open my heart so that they need not be without succor;
let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong,
nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich …
And so open my eyes and my ears that I may this coming day be able to do some work of peace for thee.
Written by: Lyn van Rooyen; CABSA Director, CCoH Facilitator
Author: van Rooyen L (Ms)