Saturday, September 18, 2010

God and Wealth

Jesus said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, `What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' Then the manager said to himself, `What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.' So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, `How much do you owe my master?' He answered, `A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, `Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.' Then he asked another, `And how much do you owe?' He replied, `A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, `Take your bill and make it eighty.' And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.

"Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." Luke 16:1-13

Yesterday I had a real treat as I got to celebrate the Feast of David Oakerhater with the people of the Diocese of Arizona at the Cathedral. My old friend, Ginny Doctor, who is a missionary in Alaska and member of the Mohawk tribe was the preacher. She did a wonderful job and her sermon was very inspiring. She challenged us to do what we can with what we are given. She suggested that Oakerhater never quit serving his people and others, and he followed God wherever he was sent with cheerfulness, a hope filled heart and a radical faith that trusted God for every need. I couldn't help but think of all the bishops gathered here and how much abundance we have represented in the group. And how, in contrast to Oakerhater, we are anxious and concerned about budgets and plot and make strategies for evangelism. Oakerhater may have had little but he was rich in faith and is remembered by all for his trust of Christ Jesus. Canon Ginny Doctor likewise, has limited funding and challenges galore, but I can't help but marvel at her faith and trust in God for all her daily needs.

On this Sunday I pray that I might have the faith to trust like these dear ones who have lived for their people and served Christ wherever they are. I pray for the House of Bishops that we might become trusting servants, following Jesus only today and forever.

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