Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
This is a story of paying attention to what we think, say, and do. It warns of putting ourselves first, and worrying about earthly things more than eternal things. God wants us to know His will for us, but if we are distracted by possessions and our own plans, we could miss His wonderful blessing.
This story isn’t necessarily a testimony against all rich people, but it is a call to beware of loving money and things more than God and others. British theologian John Wesley said “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can”, an indication that sharing with those in need is the goal of doing well in the world.
Jesus aims this lesson at all of us, regardless of our financial status. “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Our focus is wrong and our lives will be incomplete unless we have a rich relationship with God and do the things He calls us to do with the gifts He gives.
Loving Lord, we confess that we are often selfish with what You give us, afraid that if we share, there may not be enough left. Help us to trust You, that Your gifts are multiplied when we use them to care for others. Amen.