“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him. So he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.
Food For Thought:
This is one of those very difficult passages of Scripture where Jesus makes a statement about what it means to be a Christian, and it calls almost everyone on the carpet. Jesus tells his ancient listeners that they cannon serve God and wealth. Even today, money is a messy thing for us. It often times gets in the way of our relationship with God. Think about how you utilize money for building up God’s kingdom here on earth. Think about how money has gotten in the way of you developing the life-giving relationship with God that we all deserve. One of my favorite writers, Henri Nouwen, often talked about living an open-handed or tight-fisted life. According to Nouwen, the life of the open-handed individual leads to joyful, prayerful service. The contrasting life of clenched fists of self-centeredness leads to inner tension and the desire to cling to those things that foster greed and create fear. What kind of life are you living ― an open handed or a tight fisted one?
O God, you call us to embrace both you and the children of this world with unconditional love. Give us grace to discern what your love demands of us, that, being faithful in things both great and small, we may serve you with an undivided heart. Amen.