Friday, September 24, 2010

Pentecost 18c - conclusion

Amos 6:4-7; Psalm 146; 1 Timothy 6:6-19; Luke 16: 19-31

From Amos’s “alas” to the rich man’s fate the texts for Pentecost 18c would seem to be a warning to the rich and a promise to the poor. But if the rich heed the warning and give away their wealth to provide the promise to the poor then the roles are just reversed and the poor, now rich, will be warned while the rich, now poor, will receive the promise and nothing will have changed. No. The word for poor and rich alike is in the godliness combined with contentment that Paul encourages in Timothy. To live into that place of peace hallows the Sabbath that the merchants of Amos’s day desecrate by their greed. To be content is to trust with the psalmist that the Lord will make good on the promise to provide what the princes cannot. And for the money loving Pharisees the punch line of the parable is a promise that the one telling the joke will have the last laugh. But the best laugh will be when money loving Pharisees and poor disciples sit down to dine at the same table because the Lord will not be content with anything less.

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