This Sunday at actionchurch we talked about a difficult subject, from a difficult scripture, at the end of a difficult week, and I’m so glad we did! Honestly, last week sermon prep felt like “digging at place marked X” from a treasure map…and digging…and digging…and just before giving up, finally finding the “buried treasure.”
In Luke 16 Jesus talked about a highly unlikely “hero”, a dishonest business manager who is about to be fired for wasting his bosses assets. Because his options for further employment look dismal, the shady employee decides to “make friends” who will help him later by “cooking the books” and erasing part of the debts they owe to his employer. He hopes that, in appreciation of his creative accounting, they will take care of him after he is fired.
The amazing thing about this passage in Luke is that Jesus said that we could learn something from this “dishonest rascal”
.9 Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.” Luke 16:9
I’ve been struggling with this parable. It sounds like “buying your way into heaven”, which contradicts so much of the other teaching of scripture. I’ve come to understand though that Jesus was talking about “trading the things we can’t keep, for the things we can’t lose”. Jesus was discribing an amazing opportunity to “spend” our life…our money…our time…our abilities and connections, to make sure that some day many friends would welcome us when we get to heaven. We can “befriend” Jesus by helping “the least of these” (Matt. 25:31-46) and in the process invite many other friends to be with us in heaven.
actionchurch exists to “benefit others and make friends…in Heaven”. I am so thankful for all of you who chose to “spend your life” being part of the action.
Thanks so much to all of you who stepped up to volunteer this week. Thanks to all of you who donate your time, money, and talent every week. As I said yesterday, I think the best is truly yet to come. I think that someday we will gather together with many new and old friends in heaven because of what we do together at actionchurch. Most of all, I believe that someday we all will settle our account of “what we did with what we have”. I am so thankful for the opportunity we’ve all been given to have friendly faces welcoming us in that moment.