Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Psalm 26, Obadiah 17-21, and Luke 16:19-31
The Lazarus in this story was probably not the Lazarus whom Jesus resurrected from the dead. Lazarus (the Greek version of the Hebrew Eleazar) was a common and popular name at the time. At any rate, Jesus takes a popular story and changes the ending. In the first version, Lazarus came back from the dead to talk to the brothers. In Jesus’ version, Abraham tells the rich man that it won’t do any good.
Jesus’ point in telling this story to the money-loving Pharisees was to show them that just because a person has money does not automatically mean that God is pleased with that person. The Jews believed that being rich was a sign that God had greatly blessed that person, because he was righteous. Jesus isn’t against us having money, and God does bless us. But we get into trouble when we begin to trust that money more than we trust God. The rich man in Jesus’ story trusted his money and the fact that he was born a Jew to get him into heaven, and it failed. Jesus demonstrates over and over that being a part of the kingdom is a heart thing, not a genetics thing or a money thing.
Do you trust your stuff more than you trust God? Would you willingly put aside everything you own to follow Jesus? Be honest in your assessment. If there is anything you would have trouble giving up, ask God to help you release that. Ask him to help you trust him. Write your own prayer.