Luke 12: 13-21
A man in a crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to give me my share of what our father left us when he died.”
Jesus answered, “Who gave me the right to settle arguments between you and your brother?”
Then he said to the crowd, “Don’t be greedy! Owning a lot of things won’t make your life safe.”
So Jesus told them this story: A rich man’s farm produced a big crop, and he said to himself, “What can I do? I don’t have a place large enough to store everything.”
Later, he said, “Now I know what I’ll do. I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I can store all my grain and other goods. Then I’ll say to myself, ‘You have stored up enough good things to last for years to come. Live it up! Eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.’”
But God said to him, “You fool! Tonight you will die. Then who will get what you have stored up?”
“This is what happens to people who store up everything for themselves, but are poor in the sight of God.”
I suppose the shortest response to the Gospel would be – ‘you can’t take it with you’.
Our lives are an ever-changing journey of aspiration and achievement, hopefully with only the occasional failure or detour.
We are surrounded by images of what success looks like and how important it is to be part of the in-crowd. How quickly a ‘want’ becomes a ‘need’ and how clearly we are entitled to what we need.
Jesus never criticises wealth; in fact he seems to feel sorry for those to have it. Wealth can be a great blessing – allowing us to support others; to make the most of our talents and gifts; to leave the world a better place. It’s the love of wealth that can turn nasty. Changing our focus from God to self; wealth can exclude our neighbour for all sorts of seemingly, very good reasons. Wealth gives us the impression that we are in control – when the realities of life can very quickly prove otherwise.
Consider what is truly important both in this world and the next. Then what you can take with you – goodness and kindness – will fill the treasure boxes of heaven.