A certain man who has a bumper crop decides to build bigger barns to hold it all. In 1973, the average house in the United States was 1600 square feet. By 2010, it had increased 1000 square feet to 2610. At the same time, the family size decreased about one person; from 3.42 to 2.65. So we own bigger houses to hold more stuff!
Jesus poses this question: Who is going to get all that stuff when we die? It may be that we no longer think about who gets our stuff; we may believe that for now we need it. Most of our possessions are disposable; we don’t anticipate having them all of our lives anyway. Computers, phones, furniture—everything is temporary. How do those of us with a mind-set of disposability and dispensability respond to God’s question? Do we, like the farmer with the bumper crop, equate possessions with security? How do we secure our future?
If we have more than we need, might we share it with others? Generosity grows our faith. Blessing others when we have been blessed extends the transforming mercies from us to others. Building bigger barns, bigger houses for temporary goods seems to limit the love, even within ourselves. May we affirm the belief that life is God’s gift.
Why does God choose to limit God’s self in meeting needs through partnership with us? Free will presents a serious risk in that we often choose poorly. Transforming mercies give us the opportunity to make better choices each day. Today may be the day that we decide we have enough, and we will share with others who do not.

O God, may I choose to be satisfied with what I have and share with those in need. May I give with joy! Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 12:13-21

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Lectionary Week
July 25–31, 2016
Scripture Overview

The Hosea passage portrays the agony of God, who is torn between the demands of judgment and of grace. When justice and grace are weighed in God’s balances, grace always prevails. Psalm 107’s language applies to many experiences of alienation. Lostness, hunger, thirst, and weariness characterize the condition of those cut off from God; yet if they seem abandoned, they are not. God has guided them out of the desert and back to their homes once again. The freedom to live in goodness is the subject of Colossians. The passage points read- ers beyond “things that are on earth” to “things that are above.” Freedom from greed is the focus of Luke 12:13-21, a text that addresses the dif cult issue of how the Christian is to deny the temptations of materialism while living in a very material world. The farmer is not condemned because he worked to produce a bumper crop, but his demise is viewed as tragic because he wrongly believed that his bulging barns would be his salvation.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Hosea 11:1-11. God’s constant love, mercy, and grace allow for transformation. What would it be like if our sys- tems employed a justice designed to transform?
• Read Psalm 107:1-9, 43. From what captivity has God redeemed you?
• Read Colossians 3:1-11. What do you need to take away from your life in order to clothe yourself with the practices that re ect the image of God?
• Read Luke 12:13-21. How can you feel more satis ed with what you have? How will this allow you to share more with others?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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