Friday, January 11, 2013
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 29, Ecclesiastes 2:1-11, and 1 Corinthians 2:1-10
The writer of Ecclesiastes, which tradition holds to be Solomon, writes that although he had accomplished all these things, and had bought everything he ever wanted, and never held back anything from himself, he looked at it all and realized it was all nothing.
You can’t take your things when you die. You just can’t. People have tried; there is a joke about a rich man who insisted on having a bunch of cash put in the casket with him when he was buried. But even he got shafted when one of his friends took the cash and left a check instead. King Tut’s tomb was found in the early twentieth century, full of gold and all kinds of riches. But he had never been able to use it or enjoy it because he was dead. Now it all belongs to museums and collectors.
When God made a covenant with Abraham, he said that he was going to bless Abraham so that he could be a blessing to others. There’s the difference. Abraham was a rich man. He had flocks and herds, twelve sons, and more money than anyone around him. But the reason God blessed him was so that he could take those riches and bless others.
Having money isn’t bad. Earning money is a good thing. It’s how we use that money once we get it. And it’s not just money, either: It’s all of our resources, skills, and talents. God gives to us so that we can be a blessing to those around us. Not just our friends and family, but everyone.
Do you use your resources wisely? Do you use them to bless others? Take some time to pray about this. Write your own prayer.