We Who Seek the Kingdom of God Need to be Focused

09-18-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

The scripture this weekend informs or reminds us of the great justice of God. The scripture also challenges us about our sense of justice in our own lives. In the passage from the Old Testament, Amos the prophet is seen as caring a lot. He lived in a time when the people had ever increasing prosperity that came about from abuse of the poor and marginalized. Amos was very clear about their greed and abuse for he said that they even wanted to work on the Sabbath and mis-weigh to their advantage a measure of grain. He proclaimed that these type of abuses will not be tolerated or forgotten in heaven. Amos was not against making money, but he was if it is on the backs of the poor. He told them that greed and avarice can keep you from serving God. Money becomes an idol for people. This idol does away with justice and keeps one away from God.

In the Gospel, we get to see how Jesus uses an example of “downsizing”. A very sneaky employee greases the skids for his advantage. Jesus was impressed by his cleverness and wondered why this type of planning had only taken place in business. Jesus wondered why those who seek a “position” in the reign of God lack such wit and wherewithal. Notice that Jesus commended the manager for being so sharp to use what had been given to him to help protect his future. We are also supposed to protect our futures. Jesus was actually inviting us to use what had been entrusted to us to do just that. More significantly Jesus stressed that we ought to recognize that the treasure we have been given stewardship over cannot be bartered away. This treasure can be only given away, given, and shared freely with others, as it has been given and shared freely with us.

The passage helps us conclude as a lesson that It seems that we who seek the kingdom of God need to be as focused and as careful as the steward of our passage. We need to look internally and reflect upon the gifts we have and then plan how to use or spend them thoughtfully. We can allow our goal in life confused by our daily living and working because our goal is not to secure wealth, but is secured by our life with God. Part of the message of Jesus this weekend is that part of what we have is to be spent and shared where they will do the best and where they will yield the most benefits.

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