August 2019 Sermons

 

Missed a sermon?  Enjoyed it so much you want to read it?  Want to check that you heard that?  Below are the recent sermons from August 2019.  We encourage you to use the reflection on the Word in your faith practice.  May they lift you up and enrich your faith.  Enjoy!

 

 

August 4, 2019 - 12:13-21

 

Luke 12:13-21 - Planning for the Future

 

13Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." 14But he said to him, "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?" 15And he said to them, "Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." 16Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17And he thought to himself, 'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' 18Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' 20But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' 21So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."

 

Interpretation of the Word

 

As a child, I received a book of Aesop's fables, we would read one short story each night before bed.  You are probably all familiar with one such tale of the ant and the grasshopper. It goes like this:

One bright day in late autumn a family of Ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine, drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer, when a starving Grasshopper, his fiddle under his arm, came up and humbly begged for a bite to eat.

"What!" cried the Ants in surprise, "haven't you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?"

"I didn't have time to store up any food," whined the Grasshopper; "I was so busy making music that before I knew it the summer was gone."

The Ants shrugged their shoulders in disgust.

"Making music, were you?" they cried. "Very well; now dance!" And they turned their backs on the Grasshopper and went on with their work.


Of course, we all know the grasshopper is the fool here, not saving up for the coming winter.  And the ants are the smart wise ones, having what they need to get through winter.

 

So maybe as you heard the text from Luke, this very fable popped into your head, as it did mine, and maybe you are wondering, why is Jesus calling this rich person a fool?  And with that, you might also be wondering, if Jesus is, in effect, calling you a fool.

 

You all have saved, and planned wisely for the future.  Making investments and stashing away cash, so that you can live out your days enjoying this beautiful area.  And if we're honest, we could very easily argue with Jesus that the rich man is not a fool, but incredibly wise and a very  responsible person. He has a thriving farming business. His land has produced so abundantly that he does not have enough storage space in his barns. So he plans to pull down his barns and build bigger ones to store all his grain and goods. Then he will have ample savings set aside for the future and will be all set to enjoy his golden years.

 

Isn't this what we each were encouraged to strive for, and now you encourage your children and grandchildren to do? Isn't it wise and responsible to save for the future? The rich farmer would probably be a good financial advisor. He seems to have things figured out. He worked hard and saved wisely, so now he can sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of his labor, right?

 

Well, not exactly. There is one very important thing the rich man has not planned for -- his reckoning with God. But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?" (Luke 12:20)

 

I am more than certain that you have all seen this in your lifetime: a long time colleague and friend dies not so long after finally retiring. You can even remember the moment of standing with them next to an electric coffee maker in the break room or in a meeting more than a decade ago when the stock market was in turmoil. You recall them turning to you and smiling as they share that they had already moved their 401K into safe funds so they would have little to worry about. On the day of their funeral as their life was celebrated, you might have even winced as you remembered that moment in the break room knowing that they never had the chance to enjoy the fruits of their wisdom then — their choice of barns in which to store the abundant 'harvest' which had been theirs.

 

The rich farmer is a fool not because he is wealthy or because he saves for the future, but because he appears to live solely for himself, and because he believes that he can secure his life with his abundant possessions.

 

When the rich man talks in this parable, he talks only to himself, and the only person he refers to is himself: "What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?" "I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry'" (Luke 12:17-19).

 

He is just collecting stuff, for himself.  There is no mention of passing this on to his children, but this collection of stuff is solely for his own benefit.  We aren't told if he has a wife and a family, we are only told that he thinks of himself and needs to store up his things for HIS future benefit.

The rich man's land has produced abundantly, yet he expresses no sense of gratitude to God or to the workers who have helped him plant and harvest this bumper crop. He has more grain and goods in storage than he could ever hope to use, yet seems to have no thought of sharing it with others, and no thought of what God might require of him. He is blind to the fact that his life is not his own to secure, that his life belongs to God, and that God can demand it back at any time.

 

So let's name it. The rich man is greedy. And whether you want to admit it, greed for the sake of more, and never is enough, IS a sin. It is a sin because it takes our focus off of the one who gave the wealth.  Maybe not directly handing over the money, but giving us the knowledge to invest, the ability to work, the wherewithal to plan, we believe that comes from God. Therefore we need to express thanks for these gifts.  We didn't come by them all by our lonesome. As we heard last week, our father in heaven gifts us with the things we need for this life.

 

Greed is an idol of this earth. It sets us to strive for things that are not of God. Greed is also so self focused that we don't see anyone else. We don't see the workers who brought in the harvest, we don't see the way that our hoarding prevents not only us from living but others too.

If we're being really honest here, it is not just personal greed, but also institutional greed. We want the biggest congregations, so we can have a budget surplus, so we can plan not just for today but for the future.

 

But it is more than that.  It is also about giving of yourself. Not holding back but giving all of yourself to God and to God's purposes in this world.  To bringing god's kingdom about without fear that there won't be enough if we give all of ourselves.

November 13, 2019

 

Have a Prayer Request?

Click here!    

 

SUNDAY WORSHIP

 

Worship Service 11:00AM

Children's Nursery available during worship

Adult Sunday School 9:45AM

Children's Sunday School - 9:45AM


 

What events are we planning this month?

Go to our calendar to see all events for this month and if you require further information, please contact us.

 

 

Join Us!

If you're curious about what a truly nurturing community of believers is like, then you should come to the "Join Us" section to find out how you can get involved.

 

 

Like us on Facebook 

Check us out on Facebook and see what's going on in the Kirk!

 

 

 

Have a Prayer Request?

Click here!    

 

 

 

Last month November 2019 Next month
S M T W T F S
week 44 1 2
week 46 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
week 47 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
week 48 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
week 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Members Login



Who's Online