I was going to post the audio of yesterday’s Sermon but I guess I forgot to press the little button that starts the recorder. So much for my ability to work with technology. So I will post some thoughts based on my notes since I do not write my sermons out.
The Lord said this parable: “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” As he said these things, he cried out: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Gospel that we hear today is a story about a man who has more than he knows what to do with. His harvest was so great that he needs to pull down his barn and build a larger one. In the end the Angel comes and tells him it is his time to go.
After the most recent snow storm, the one that hit us at the end of October, I was having a discussion with several people about the food that was lost. Their freezers were full of food and with the power out for more than a week; the food spoiled and had to be thrown away. What a waste. So it got me thinking, are we storing too much in our barns, or our freezers as the case maybe. Food that goes to waste is food that someone might have been able to eat. In essence we are taking food out of another person’s mouth. There is an old Eskimo proverb; the best place to store surplus food is in someone else’s stomach. As Christians we are called to live a life of radical simplicity.
I am all for being prepared and having food in your house. I am not advocating going to the store every day, but how much is too much? If we are throwing food away, when the power goes out, then maybe we are storing too much food.
Our lives have become extremely complex in this 21st century world we live in. Not that our lives are any more complex than they were say a generation ago, but our priorities have shifted. It’s all about getting the bigger car, the bigger house, the better job not matter what the consequences. We are in a world economic crisis simply because of greed! The consumer wanted more, whether we could afford it or not. “Don’t worry I will use my credit card and pay for it latter.” The corporations wanted more! And so on and so on and now the payment is due on that credit card and we cannot pay it. But we still want more!
I overheard a conversation at the gas station the other day. A person was putting gas in their land cruiser. I am not sure what this thing was but it blocked out the sun when it drove by! The person was complaining that it cost almost $70 to fill the gas tank. I looked over and said, “Hey, why not drive a smaller car!” The look that the person shot back would make you think I said to kill yourself. How dare I say that! I want my SUV regardless of the consequences. It is all about greed plain and simple.
We even want it our way in the church. How many people do you know that want religion on their terms. They don’t want to be told what they can and cannot do. They want to go to a church where they are entertained and their lifestyle is not challenged, and how many churches have bought into this “consumer driven theology” and changed their beliefs based on polling data. The only poll the church needs in Scripture and tradition!
We need to get back to a sense of community back to a sense of what is right and what is wrong; we have gone so far from it. We need to get back to church, churches that are not afraid to preach the message of Jesus Christ that it is not about you it is about another! It’s not about love of self it is about love of neighbor! It’s not about the “I” it’s about the “we”. Until we regain that balance our world will continue to spin out of control.