Sunday Devotion: 22 September 2019, Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday Devotions

The road less travelled

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Main reading: Jeremiah 8.18-9.1; Psalm 79.1-9; 1 Timothy 2.1-10 or 1 Timothy 3.14-4.6; Luke 16.1-13 [Amos 8.4-7; Psalm 113]

Supplementary readings: Psalm 27; Luke 20.1-18; Jeremiah 9.12-16, 23-24; Psalm 113; 1 Timothy 3.1-13

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16.13)

There are plenty of people who would applaud the Dishonest Manager, after all, he shows shrewdness and initiative, he protects his job and he makes some useful contacts – people who owe him favours – but is that really what life’s all about?

In the Gospel, Jesus proclaims the message about ‘the Kingdom of Heaven’ and to me, that Kingdom seems very opposite to the one that the Dishonest Manager operates in. Wealth and power are not the point of God’s Kingdom – love and forgiveness and hope are – and you can’t buy or bargain for these treasures.

The life of Saint Francis of Assisi is a classic example of a man who gave up all his material prestige to preach the Gospel. Although leaving his wealth behind cost him much, he paid nothing for the priceless treasure of being part of God’s kingdom through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He loved ‘Lady Poverty’ – I wonder if we could do the same?

All in all, Jesus’ parable teaches us that we cannot sit on the fence, wavering between pursuing God’s kingdom or chasing wealth, power or personal success. Either we serve God and offer all we have to Him, or we take part in a world characterised by the Dishonest Manager, serving money and forgetting the one who actually blessed us in the first place. If your life’s purpose is to succeed and prosper, then you might find all you desire, but will you lose something far more precious along the way?

In our prosperous part of the world, I strongly feel that every one of us needs to decide who we truly serve because wealth in this life is not really wealth at all – our real treasure awaits us in heaven!

Justin Holland is a Year 11 student at Matthew Flinders Anglican College.

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