Then Jesus said to them, “Watch out! Guard yourself against all kinds of greed. After all, one’s life isn’t determined by one’s possessions, even when someone is very wealthy.” Then he told them a parable: “A certain rich man’s land produced a bountiful crop. He said to himself, What will I do? I have no place to store my harvest! Then he thought, Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. That’s where I’ll store all my grain and goods. I’ll say to myself, You have stored up plenty of goods, enough for several years. Take it easy! Eat, drink, and enjoy yourself. But God said to him, ‘Fool, tonight you will die. Now who will get the things you have prepared for yourself?’ This is the way it will be for those who hoard things for themselves and aren’t rich toward God.”
“All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.” — Pa Bailey
In the story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Peter (Pa) Bailey and Mr. Potter don’t see eye-to-eye in their discussions about helping people in the community with available resources. Mr. Potter, a mean-spirited, selfish character who lacks the joy of giving, is only interested in becoming richer at the expense of others. On the other hand, Peter Bailey has a kind and generous heart to help people with resources to realize their personal dreams.
Jesus teaches us to be rich towards God, which means that not only should we share our resources with God to help and empower others; we can also express our empathy, love, and service to those around us.
We have seen the goodness and generosity of so many people who have given their time, energy, and resources to help a greater cause. This Advent season, we have the opportunity to be “rich towards God” and others by being kind, empathetic, understanding, caring, and generous.
God of grace and love,
You are the source of our lives and all that we have been given. Empower us to have a heart for generosity to others this Advent season with our resources, time, talents, service, and all you have given us.