Heard at Café: 2/26/2019

Tonight was Classy Café! We rolled out the red carpet, dressed in our classiest clothing, listened to a string trio, and sipped on blackberry Bella Bellinis.

This semester, we've been talking about what it means to live a full life. Jeremy's talk tonight was about our possessions, and how they can factor into our definition of a full life. Specifically, we looked at Luke 12:13 - 21.

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

In verse 15, Jesus says that "life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." The word abundance indicates that not only did this rich man have enough, but he had a surplus-- he had more crops than he needed. The rich man instinctively wanted to build more barns to store all of the crops, but Jesus tells him that this is a waste. Jesus challenges us and the rich man to use the "enough" and the "surplus" for something beyond ourselves.

This story points out that the rich man had a lot, but none of it was being used to benefit others. This is a mindset that many of us can easily fall into: wanting things for ourselves so that we can have things our way. We focus on building our world the way we want it to be rather than the way God wants it to be.

The sin in play here is greed. Greed creates a false sense of security in our own ability. Generosity is the antidote to greed, and practicing it leads us to a full life. Jeremy reminded us that we should be rich towards God. We should be mindful of where we invest our treasures and our hearts, and give our energy to things that will remain.  The story continues:

29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

When our trust is in things of this world, we're easily disappointed. When our trust is in God, we look at the things we have and do what we can to share them with other people. Jeremy's advice to us tonight on living full lives was simple: go, give, serve, love.

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