March 17, 2009

Looking Forward to March 22, 2009 -- 4th Sunday of Lent

The Scripture Readings this week are:
From the Letters of the Early Church: 1 Timothy 6:1-12
Psalm 146 (VU p.868)
From the Gospel: Luke 12:13-21, 34

The Hymns this week are: (much of our music --3 hymns and the special music-- this week is "Irishy" in honour of St. Patrick's Day)
374 Come and Find the Quiet Centre
410 This Day God Gives Me
625 I Feel the Winds of God
642 Be Thou My Vision

The Sermon title this week is Cash or Credit??? – Tool, Scorecard or Goal??

Early Thoughts: What meaning do those bits of paper and metal and plastic have? Are they helpful or do they get in the way?

Well to be honest they are both helpful and they get in the way. OR at least both answers are possible. It all depends on the choices we make. It depends what meaning we give them.

In this scene from the 1987 movie Wall Street Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) gave a group a stockholders a rousing speech about how greed works. If that is the path we follow than money is not just a tool, it is our goal, our way of keeping score. Then it can be a distraction to the path of being faithful.

But we can just as easily decide that money is merely a tool, a convenient way to facilitate the exchange of goods and services (far easier and more straightforward than a barter system after all). What happens if we make that choice?

Money is really in the end only bits of metal, or pieces of paper, or slips of plastic to which we have given some meaning or value. And it is only good when exchanged with someone who agrees on what that value is (try spending Canadian Tire money anywhere other than Canadian Tire to prove that point). So it makes a rather bad way of keeping score in life.

Yes I know many people keep score with money, or with things related to money and wealth. But as people of faith we are called to a different scoring system. Money, in and of itself, is not evil, but the Scriptures tell us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. That is because it distracts us from God's scoring system. That scoring system is based on what we do with our money. It is based on how we interact with our neighbours. It is the path of self-giving, and in the end I believe it works a whole lot better than greed.

What do you think?

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