Looks like I'll be preaching downtown to homeless people instead of to a sick guy in a hospital bed tomorrow. Kelly's Uncle Don continues to improve but he's still in the hospital, latest word is he's now fighting lung clots.
I'm home early, but I'm not sleepy. Instead I find myself thinking about what I'm going to say tomorrow. The text is Luke 12:13ff.
Luk 12:13-21 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." (14) But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?" (15) And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (16) And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully, (17) and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' (18) And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. (19) And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' (20) But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' (21) So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
People get greedy all the time. Even Homeless people! Carl Ketcherside reportedly identified homeless people as being "Needy, greedy, or seedy" I think that bears out. I meet guys wit tho are greedy every week. I meet guys who would be off the streets if certain needs could be met. The seedy ones are the ones who need the most help though. They've been out there a long time. They bear sin's mark on their body as a stench of alchohol, dirt, sweat, blood, vomit.
I'm preaching this scripture because it ties in well with two other passages for the purpose of building the point that God Comes First!!!
You can be rich, I say, and you can have it all, but you will die, and what will become of your riches? That is point of sermon number one: seek first the kingdom.
Luk 12:22-31 And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. (23) For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. (24) Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! (25) And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (26) If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? (27) Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (28) But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! (29) And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. (30) For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. (31) Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
I'll be the first to admit that homeless people probably hear this and other passages like it far too often in sermons. What I'm hoping though, is that they make the connection between Jesus' story about the rich guy and this teaching on seeking the kingdom. We seek the kingdom because of the fragility of life. Isn't it amazing how we are born, and we die? I remember the day my daughter was born, how she was so small, and as the dr.'s massaged her oddly colored (to me) little body, I waited to hear her cry. It was so thin! Her voice barely moved air. I remember how similar the emotion of that is to watching somebody near death. How they are just as dependant and helpless as a child, but on the way to the other life, and away from this life. Sometimes, people don't get to take a long time to die...
If I'm going to be greedy, Lord let me be greedy for the Kingdom!