the 8th sunday after pentecost
the PRAYER. . .
Benevolent God, you are the source, the guide, and the goal of our lives. Teach us to love what is worth loving, to reject what is offensive to you, and to treasure what is precious in your sight, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING. . .
Then [Jesus] told [the crowd] a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly …”
the DEVOTION. . .
A few years back, when he was running for reëlection, President Obama gave a speech that sparked a grassfire. The point he was making was that none of us succeeds all by ourselves. It takes all of us, together, requiring infrastructure and education the public sector – not private – provides. Well, that point was lost on the not-so-loyal opposition and they took his words out of context and ran with them. Stump speeches. Editorials. TV commercials. Even billboards. You might remember the one on Big Spring Street just north of Wadley Avenue here in Midland. “I built this business.” Mr. Williams – the West Texan who put it up – didn’t have to add, “with my own two hands!” It was understood!
Well, all that came to mind, again, as I read “The Parable of the Rich Fool.” The rich man runs out of space to store all his crops. So, he pulls down the old barns and builds new, larger ones. And the moment they’re built, he dies. And someone else inherits everything he owned. God calls him, “Fool!” For the longest time, I thought it was because the man never thought he’d die. And, of course, that’s a part of it. But, at least for now, I think he was called fool because he thought he did it all by himself! With his own two hands! With nobody’s help! Truth is, it wasn’t the man, at all, who had accomplished so much. It was, simply, that the land produced abundantly!
Bob Barndt, pastor