We won the Lottery! Wheeeee!!!!!
And the pictures of champagne corks flying, big happy smiles, everyone is on top of the world! All that money, all those dreams, all now a reality! And the publicity machine loves the hullaballoo as much as the winners! We all love a human interest story!!
I read stories of lottery winners who found money is not the answer. That they were isolated from their friends when they had to move to a big luxurious house. That all their “friends” expected handouts. That strangers wrote begging letters. That “rich people” saw them as interlopers – not authentic rich people. That as the money dwindled all the hangers-on found other people to hang-off. But that life could never return to how it had been – something had changed everything.
And I read occasional stories of those who are still happy in their new lifestyles. Not necessarily wiser or beneficent. Just “happy” with what winning a huge sum has allowed them to do. Maybe we don’t hear so much of them because good news is not “great news”.
We have been saved! Hallelujah!!!!!!
And the testimonies and smiling faces. And then I read how it is a life of toil and trouble. The sacrifice, the penance, the sheer hard work of being a follower. This morning’s passage is one that links directly to that grumble:
“But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:39-48
It’s not fair. I have been given eternal life. I am indwelt by the Creator of All in every single second of my earthly life. I have faith that can move mountains. I am connected to The One of All. And if He desires I can heal the sick, I can touch the hardest heart, I can work miracles that defy science through His name. And He expects more of me than others? Good God, God! That is out of order!
My own word is “desires” or “invites”. And my own thought is this.
If being as one in One of All is a burden … Then do not love. Do not be loved. And do not be loving.
For Love changes those whom it consumes. Love brings prosperity. Prosperity of what is needed. Not of what is lusted. Prosperity brings abundance in spirit, in heart, in mind, and in contentment. Not a sack-full of consumer catalogues, or material possessions that need a bigger house, bigger grounds, better facilities, more power, more security to protect all those possessions, more isolation from those “have nots”.
That is financial porn. That is not “prosperity”. That is “our House”. That is not His House.
I am meeting more and more who are happy in their “new lifestyles” of following. Not necessarily wiser or beneficent or richer or poorer. Just content with what being indwelt has allowed them to become, what it allows them each to do. Maybe we don’t hear so much of them because Good News is not great news.
So we have to connect. We must listen to those He brings to us – those He speaks through – those who are living as He desires – those who are loved, and love and are loving. Those who are content as one in One of All. Those who live amongst us.
And He whispers with such affection: “That is also why fellowship.”
He keeps bringing me “good church people”. Members of the church with titles and without titles, with collars and without. People who connect. People who desire to be what He invites. Who are joyful, who are humble, and who are real. Problem is – they are not labels. They are individual creations. They tend not to attract attention. But they are my role models. I see God Soft Hands Jesus smiling back at me when I meet these people. I like that. I desire to meet more and more.
“But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
That works for me. What about you?