Rich toward God

1 August 2010
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 13C (RCL)

Hosea 11:1-11
Psalm 107:1-9, 43
Colossians 3:1-11
Luke 12:13-21

One of these days . . . Here is my translation of the Colossians passage for this week: Since, then, you have been resurrected with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your sights on the things above, not on things on earth. For you have died, and your life is buried with Christ in God, so that whenever the Christ appears, namely, your life, the even you with him will appear in glory. Put to death, then, the earthly parts: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry, because of which the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. In which things you also used to walk, when you lived in them. But now, put away from you also everything: wrath, anger, evil, blasphemy, demeaning words from your mouths. Do not lie to one another, having stripped off the ancient person with its practices, and dressed with the new one, which is being renewed for the recognition of the image of its creator. There is no place for Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free, but rather, everyone and in everyone, the Christ.

So, the new person is for the recognition of the image of the creator. All of the things the writer lists as bad things cover the image of the creator, especially greed, which is idolatry — a failure to trust in God’s goodness.

The rich man in the gospel hoards his good things. How is he going to eat all that grain?! Can’t possibly. So, Jesus tells us to be rich toward God. What does that mean? What is the good of wealth? It involves us in a whole network of relationships (dividends from stocks — what do we know about the companies: charities to which we give: people we invite to dinner). If those relationships are grace-ful, then we are rich toward God. If we hoard things, we hide the image of the creator, which must them be grace, communion, connection. This is what is being revealed.

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