Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lectionary Blog for September 30th 2007

1 Timothy 6:6-19

6Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; 8but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. 11But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

13In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 16It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. 17As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, 19thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

This goes along with the gospel reading for the week rather well. I think the Gospel is pretty clear about money and how we should not let it be too important to us. I don't think there is much of a contextual difference on this issue between the times that this was written and today. Money is what money was: security, status and comfort. If we are counting on our wealth to give us these things than we are not depending on God. It is difficult because we can easily use this as an excuse for poor stewardship because if money isn't important to us we can just blow it on whatever and then wonder why God isn't providing. We must be good stewards with what we have as well as depend on God for security, status and comfort.

We have many other idols besides money that we get these three things from and this is just as problematic. Just because we aren't rich, doesn't mean we aren't idolaters. When we fight about worship, it is an issue of comfort and security in a different way. It is so interesting to me how songs people are used to mean the most to them and touch them the most. I think sometimes we desire comfort so badly that we confuse it with being touched in a way that leads to progress. Being comfortable is important but it isn't going to make you better unless you use such comfort to be uncomfortable in new ways. Discomfort can lead to progress in many ways and we have a choice when we are uncomfortable... we can move forward into new comfort or back into old comfort. The more we do uncomfortable things the less uncomfortable they become and this allows us to "get out of the box" in different ways.

No comments: