A Word from Pastor Stephen – April 15, 2020
16 Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull 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, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.” (Luke 16:13-21 NRSV)
During this uncertain and uneasy time as we do our best to navigate life under a pandemic, this parable of Jesus is hard to relate to right now. No one is producing abundantly at the moment. Any wealth we had managed to accumulate is being used up quickly, or has already run dry. Who among us is trying to build bigger barns because we have so much excess we don’t know what to do with it all? Do you hear anyone right now saying, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” Anyone?
Right now we are being asked to remain at home. Our daily schedules have been interrupted. Many activities we took for granted are off limits right now. Maybe this is a good time to begin making deposits in your heavenly account. Jesus told us not to worry about amassing and hoarding stuff here on earth, but to store up treasures in heaven. Jesus knows that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:21)
So what are these treasures we should be storing up in heaven? They could be many things. The Bible should be our constant companion. We should know the scriptures. It will give you a solid foundation on which you can stand. Our life should be bathed in prayer. Saint Paul reminds us,” Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thess. 5:16-18). The small acts of kindness we show people each day are a reflection of the love of Jesus. Acts of service to those in need takes the focus off of ourselves. Sacrificial giving can break in us the love of money and things and the spell they can hold over us. Sharing your love of Jesus with others helps to build up the Kingdom of God. We have so many gifts we can give to God.Never worry about storing up treasures here on Earth. They will never fully satisfy you and they certainly will never last. “ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’” Instead, store up treasures in heaven. All these troubles and trying times we are going through will not last. Remember the words of Saint Paul to the Romans, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” (Rom. 8:16) Always have you eyes fixed on Jesus and all things will be well. Amen.