Today at St. Matthews we explored the parable of the rich man who decided to build bigger barns to store his bumper crop, only to be confronted by his own mortality and the reality that “life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:13-21). (You can listen to the whole sermon here). All of us are confronted, both by our desire for “more” –more money, better grades, a bigger house with bigger closets, more caring, more love—and also by the fact that we also have more than enough in many areas of our lives. In fact sometimes the enormous amount of energy it takes to maintain our stuff seems crazy—is this really the way we were intended to live?
In Luke’s gospel, Jesus teaches us that where our treasure is, there will our hearts also be. He teaches us how bankrupt a life can be when we have a surplus of possessions but are not “rich toward God.” But how do we begin to disrupt our habitual relationship toward the stuff of life, and begin to re-orient ourselves toward the riches of God’s kingdom?
This week, August 4-11, we at St. Matthews are invited to do a short experiment in practicing what we explored together in worship on Sunday.
Every evening, for five minutes, we are invited to do the following:
- Ask ourselves: where did I spend my life today—my attention, energy, resources?
- What did I think I needed more of to be at peace?
- Where in my life was I conscious of already having more than enough? What did I do with that bounty today?
- The point of these questions is not to judge ourselves, but to be mindful of where our life is, where our energy is going. Try jotting down the answers – a few words or phrases or bullet points. You might also try discussing this at the dinner table with your family.
Every morning, for five minutes, we are also invited to do the following:
- Ask ourselves: what would it look like for me to be rich toward God today? Given the particular tasks and schedule that I have today, what would it look like for me to experience being rich toward God? Try jotting down where your imagination goes when you ask that question, what comes to you. You might also try discussing this at the breakfast table with your family.
Everyone is invited to respond to this blog with what comes to you as you do these practices this week. What surprises you? Where do you feel God’s Spirit teaching and guiding you as you engage with this practice?