Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. ~Luke 12:15
Before I entered seminary our family lived a very comfortable life in a large home where deer enjoyed passing through our land. We had more bedrooms than we needed and it was possible to not bump into each other while we were at home together. When my family and I moved to seminary we gave away more than half of our things so that we could fit into our very modest duplex that was less than half the size of the home we were leaving behind. What we discovered is that a big house with lots of “toys” was getting in the way of our relationship together. We learned that we really didn’t need all things we had and that we really didn’t miss them when they were gone. We grew closer as a family with less stuff and more ways to bump into each other.
In the gospel reading this week from Luke, Jesus uses another parable to discuss greed and how greed can get in the way of relationship with God and with one another. In the parable the rich man is “me” focused. The parable says:
And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops.” Then 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. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample good laid up for many years; relax, eat, and drink be merry.” ~Luke 12:17-19 (NRSV)
The issue is not that this man is rich. The issue is what this man does with his wealth and where he finds his worth and value. This is distracting him from his relationship with God and from his relationship with community.
“Stuff” can get in the way of our relationship with God, with others, and with community. My hope and prayer for you on this day is that you know that you are enough. May you come to know and believe that your value and worth comes from being a beloved child of God. Be at peace and share the Good News!