Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying,
“The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
When Ann and I moved in 2010 we downsized and got rid of about half of what we owned. It was an amazing feeling of freedom not to own a big house that was becoming a bit of a money pit. After we moved our lifestyle seemed to be simpler. For us, the abundance of possessions had morphed into something that no longer brought happiness but only an obligation to find a place to keep all of our stuff. The message of today's passage hits the mark for most of us.
What do you think it means to be rich toward God and how does one lay up treasure for oneself? It is obvious from the parable that it is not in the accumulation of physical things but I wonder if it might be the accumulation of spiritual things? Perhaps each time we love unconditionally we make a heavenly deposit of love? Maybe being rich toward God is all about loving Him, our neighbors and our enemies? Perhaps when we love we share more and covet less?
Lord, help me to erect a heavenly barn of love today instead of an earthly barn of wood.