The Rev. Stephen Jacobson
St. David’s Church, Wayne, PA (retired)
Sermon Luke 16:1-13
Proper 20C St. James
Jesus used examples from everyday life to illustrate how precarious life can be. Last week we heard him speak of a shepherd hunting for a lost sheep and a poor woman searching for a lost coin. Material things people could relate to. Especially the poor who made up the majority of those who followed him.
This week Jesus speaks of a crafty property manager. A shrewd fellow who knew how to get himself out of a jam. A crafty manager; a living example of the saying, “Figures don’t lie but liars can figure.”
In all these examples Jesus makes the point that human beings who don’t know God are in trouble. If you don’t know God you are likely to be lost, scared and completely on your own. Not a good place to be.
Jesus knew a thing or two about poverty. Being poor makes life precarious.
*Being poor can lead bad choices
*Being poor can crush your humanity
*Being poor can enslave you to false hopes and false gods.
Poor in things. Poor in spirit.
None of us is poor. By worldly standards we are well-off. And yet we are in the same kind of danger spiritually as his first followers. As rich as we are in things, poverty of spirit is a precarious way to live.
Years ago I served a parish where somebody put a lottery ticket in the offering plate. I think it was in lieu of a pledge.
We never won the lottery.
Somebody once said “The lottery is taxes for those who flunked math.”
Ah! Yes! I must admit that every now and then my poor math skills appear and I buy myself a ticket.
Like me, have you ever wondered what you would do with it if you won the Megamillions Lottery?
Sometimes we hear inspirational stories about how people have used their winnings.
* Bought mom a new mobile home.
* Gave 10% to charity and took a long trip.
* Paid off the mortgage.
* Invested it in gold coins.
A harmless fantasy.
Well living without God is like betting your whole life on the lottery. And that’s not a harmless fantasy!
We live in a precarious age. Hear again the Lord’s call. Draw near in faith. Draw nearer and closer to God.