Jos 1-3; 1 Tim 5-6; Psalm 129-131
‘Those who want to be rich fall into a trap . . .’
The desire to be wealthy is almost universal and yet it is deceitful, for it is founded upon a deceit from the Father of lies – that we can secure a life for ourself. The life we secure for ourself is no life at all, for it is the rejection of the life that is given. It leads to ultimate loneliness. Thus Jesus when he meets the Rich man counsels him to give up the life he has made for himself. To share in Life with the company of disciples
However much we may wish to ‘spiritualise’ Jesus’ words and plain teaching on worldly wealth, and we have all tried one way or another – it comes back to us over and over. Woe to you who are rich now – for you have received your reward. This is the material counterpoint to Jesus’ counsel over our spiritual practices. If we do them publicly then we get our reward. We get what we seek. So if we seek security in this life we will find it.
But the life we make for ourselves ends with the death of our body, and then we discover it is all we have.
Of course this isn’t to say that there are wonderful riches to be had in this life having given our self construction project up in favour of the Life that comes fom above, that is Gift. Peter tells Jesus – look what we have given up – and Jesus’ reply to him is ‘Open your eyes – behold the riches of life shared with so many who have heard my voice’
As so often it comes back to what does it mean to be the people of God – that is the Church. That is Shared Life – Life in abundance – a life we discover when we come together, not as individuals but as Christ’s body – as great a challenge as that of letting go of our wealth.