Today’s reading presents us with a stark choice: Will we depend on our wealth for security, or will we instead take hold of eternal life? It may seem an easy choice. But in a world that constantly bombards us with erroneous messages that we find happiness in material things, we can lose our way. When we’ve lost sight of God’s promises to us, we can be tempted to find hope in a job promotion, a bigger house, expensive clothes, or stock market gains. We can be tempted to think having all these things buys us security in an insecure world.

Today’s passage reminds us that our security isn’t in this world. Because, unfortunately, we can’t take any of our stuff with us when we leave. The security of the prosperous is only temporary. When we focus on fleeting things of this world, we lose sight of what really matters in the long run—pursuing godliness, faith, love, and gentleness.

So how do we live a godly life? Is it wrong to be comfortable financially? Our attitude toward our belongings matters more than how much we own. If our possessions get in the way of our trusting God and hinder our following Jesus, they are a problem. Scripture makes clear the right response to our abundance: “Do good, be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share.” As we live this open-handed kind of life and pursue godly virtues along with it, we discover that we have found the life that is eternal life.

God, when everyone seems focused on money and the temporary pleasure it brings, help us fix an inexplicable hope on the things that are eternal. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 16:19-31

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Lectionary Week
September 23–29, 2019
Scripture Overview

While Jeremiah is in prison, God tells him to buy a field. This transaction shows that in the future life will return to normal. It is an “enactment prophecy,” where a prophecy is given through actions instead of just words. The psalmist rejoices in the protection that God provides to the faithful. God is a fortress, a covering, and a shield. Paul admonishes his readers not to fall into materialism. The love of money, not money itself, is the root of all kinds of evil, and those obsessed with it build their hopes on shifting sands. Jesus tells a parable about a rich man who has fallen into that very trap. Only after death, when it is too late, does he realize his mistake.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15. How do you live as if God’s promises were already true?
Read Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16. How do you turn toward God with hope in times of darkness?
Read 1 Timothy 6:6-19. Whether you have few or many possessions, how do they get in the way of your following Jesus?
Read Luke 16:19-31. God knows each of us by name. Do you know the names of the persons in your community who have obvious or internal unmet needs?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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