And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first. Matthew 19:23-30
We spent the day with our youngest daughter ending the afternoon by visiting the farmer's market, open for the first time this season. It is always good to see the produce and the crafts, smelling the rich odors of barbeque, fired dough and crab cakes. It is a delight to the senses and people wander around greeting old friends. We brought home some lovely taste treats for dinner, and in so doing I am reminded how fortunate we are, able to have money in our pockets to enjoy the abundance. So many lack even the basics and we are surrounded by beauty and prolific abundance.
The disciples were concerned about Jesus' conversation about wealth and possessions. All of them had families, homes, boats and possessions and wondered whether Jesus was condemning them. Instead, he invites us all to realize how blessed we are and how no possession is able to save us, only God's love and our willingness to accept that love and know our own need of God. Those who are willing to follow God will be asked to give up much, but the blessings, he promises, will more than overshadow any loss. This is the promise of our faith.
Today as the shadows lengthen, may we all remember how blessed we are and how completely we are surrounded by God's love. May we never fear the losses and the bumps of life, but may we see clearly the touch of God in each and every moment.
Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake
of your love. Amen.