Marion De Quidt
Where does our security lie? We are deeply shaken, individually and internationally, by the impact of the coronavirus. We are rethinking our priorities. Do we trust in God? Or do we trust in our bank balances and pensions? Is it really as clear cut as that? In Luke’s gospel we see that some of Jesus’ first disciples gave up everything to follow him for three years; and others supported them in offering homes and hospitality (Luke 8.4, 10.38). Jesus had worked for 30 years in the family business before he was called by his Father to preach and heal. His security was in obedience to his Father throughout.
From today’s reading, which deeply challenge our self-interest, three responses might help us with our Lord’s command in verse 13.
Firstly, let us reach out to those in need, befriend ‘the poor among us’, and not step over the person sitting by our gate (Luke 16.20). It is so easy to convince ourselves that we are on an important mission, day after day after day, when God is asking us to encounter him in Lazarus. The idol of money or ‘Mammon’ might then lose its attraction.
Secondly, let us not delude ourselves into thinking that by being religious, like the Pharisees, we are on the right track. The Lord knows our hearts (Luke 16.14-15), and with true repentance we may know that we are compromised and deeply dependent on our financial resources. If we say ‘this is not a problem for me’, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
Finally, above all else, stay safe. Keep close to our Lord in daily trust in his provision. Rejoice and give thanks! Be real about our temptations. Keep short accounts. Receive his gracious mercy and Holy Spirit’s power to lead and transform. And live generously.