Friday, November 14, 2014

Getting Out of Trouble

Then 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.” Luke 16:1-9 

There are days when it seems there are no way out of the troubles we or others have caused. When our loved ones are in trouble, it tends to hit us hard. When it is our children in trouble, it is even harder. The world is full of troubles and we can often feel shame and failure when we or others hit bottom. We are stunned and dazed, and want to hide away from the world. The sun still shines though, and through the process we learn that there are people who can help, people who are wise, and who can help folks who seem stuck in deep trouble.

Jesus tells his followers to be wise in the things of the world. He uses, as he often does, a story. The story is about someone who is deep in the hole and who has made some bad and illegal decisions. He uses his skills and relationships to save himself. People of faith often find themselves in horrible life situations, both of our own making, and the consequences of those we love. We can be comforted that Jesus knew we would face all sorts of calamity and mess. We are never alone in the messes we make, God knows when we need help. More often than not, we need help before we recognize it ourselves.

Today, I ask God to help me be strong and wise in the face of adversity and trouble. May we all use the gifts and skills we have been given, and fearless when we need help. May we reach out, and move toward health and restoration in everything we do. And may we trust that God, who loves us more than we can imagine, is in the midst of these troubles with us, moving us steadily towards new life and new love.

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