My real estate agent asked as we stood outside the office for my house closing, “Are you ready for this?” I wanted to shout, “No way! What crazy person decided it was a good idea to allow me—a soon-to-be seminary graduate about to start my first full-time clergy appointment—to buy a house?” Instead, I said, “Of course!”
Half an hour later, after signing what seemed like endless documents, I received the keys to my first house. Just like that, I was a homeowner. How odd that signing a stack of papers, handing over a big check, and receiving keys created such a shift in my life. Suddenly I felt grounded and rooted in a place that I would call my own.
People tried to warn me that a home comes with a great deal of responsibility. Having a mortgage really did turn me into a grownup. When the dishwasher gave out, I had to figure out the repairs. When the toilet backed up, there was no one to unclog it but me. Even still, it was mine. The house became my home. And my home became the place where so many of God’s promises were realized. The promise of home comes with responsibility; yet, never a day goes by when responsibility outweighs the benefits of home.
While Jeremiah is in jail, God makes an odd request. God tells him to purchase and redeem the land of his kinsman in his hometown. For Jeremiah, the option to buy confirmed the truth of God’s request and signaled God’s follow-through on the promises made to the Israelite people. “Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.”
Faithful God, thank you for keeping your promises. May we accept responsibility to act. Amen.
The Bible warns about the delusions that wealth brings, repeatedly directing readers’ attention to the poor and the destitute. Luke’s Gospel text culminates in Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus. Only in the next life, when the rich man is rid of his riches, can he see Lazarus, now secure at Abra- ham’s side. First Timothy contains a series of warnings to pros- perous readers that having the basic necessities of life should be enough. Greed diverts attention away from the God “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” And against the best wisdom of all the nancial planners of Judah, Jeremiah purchases the eld at Anathoth. The prophet invests his money in the divine promise, in the outlandish conviction that God is faithful.
• Read Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15. Where do you see God’s prom- ises in your life? How do you act on them? What keeps you from acting on them?
• Read Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16. In what setting do you experience a sense of God’s shelter?
• Read 1 Timothy 6:6-19. With what do you nd yourself content?
• Read Luke 16:19-31. How do you maintain an ability to see those in need? How do you address those needs?
Respond by posting a prayer.