Readings for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Amos 8:4-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Luke 16:1-13
Do we own our possessions…or do they own us? We’ll know that we are “owned” when we find ourselves living in service to our stuff. When it demands an inordinate amount of our time and attention. When the prospect of gaining it or fear of losing it causes us great worry. When our feelings of self-worth and happiness with life are built on it.
God’s Word has a lot to say about wealth and possessions, and most of it is like the warnings we hear in Sunday’s Old Testament and Gospel lessons. Jesus tells a parable (and one that is easily misapplied) about the right and wrong use of wealth. His point is that money’s value is only temporary, and even then only as a means to a greater end – like feeding our children, helping a neighbor, or sharing the Gospel. The wise man puts his money to work while there is still time to do so. (Lk 16)
The prophet Amos warns of God’s coming punishment on Israel. The LORD is angered by those who misuse wealth by despising or cheating the poor, and seeking a profit more fervently than they seek the Him. (Am 8)
Paul instructs us to pray for our government leaders. Their God-given calling is to promote a peaceful and orderly society so that the Church can carry out its work of sharing the Gospel without hindrance. (1Tm 2)