You can’t take it with you. That’s a saying we’ve all heard at one time or another. That’s the justification we give when we spend a little more of our savings than we think is wise. Sometimes we say the same thing when we notice our neighbors buying the fancy car or the newer house that we’re jealous of them having.
Today’s lesson from the gospel of Luke sounds a little bit like something Solomon wrote, “There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in their toil.” When we read Ecclesiastes we get the idea that life is fickle and not long lasting, therefore saving for the future isn’t such a bad idea.
Jesus suggests just the opposite. He’s saying that saving things, money, assets, is what’s fickle and Life is what we should invest in, life in Him.
The landowner seemed to have it made. A bumper crop that needed new barns, a bumper crop that, he thought, was insurance against his retirement. But just as he’s fixing to settle back and take it easy, he dies and all that wealth does him no good what so ever.
So, is hard work for nothing? All our lives we’ve been taught that we should save for the future. Save for our retirement. Wouldn’t we all like to have the rich landowner’s problem of a plentiful harvest, a good nest egg to ensure us our comfort clear to the end of our life?
What should be the focus of our lives if it’s not hard work and saving for our future? Maybe this parable is telling us that we should pay attention to what’s happening in our lives now and how we’re living them. The fullness of our lives is available to us now. That doesn’t mean partying every night and spending whatever we have on whatever we want.
Living life to the fullest, in the Bible, is talking about living a life of justice, peace, truth, and honesty. It’s taking all those values we read about in God’s Word to heart and living them completely in every action, in every decision we make. This is living life fully. This is making an investment in the kingdom of God.
In order to do this we must re-prioritize our lives by getting rid of the clutter, the things we don’t really need and then to fill them with the things of God. Things that prioritizes people, the values of heaven, life-in-community.
As we contemplate our lives and our community what are the things that bring us closer to the kingdom of God? Are there examples for us of people who use their richness towards people, a richness that isn’t just material wealth but a richness of love, truth, and justice? What is our plan for the future?
May we lead by God’s Holy Spirit to consider these things as we go into this next week. Thanks be to God for his grace. Amen.