When asked to decide an inheritance case in the Luke reading this week, Jesus refuses with the admonition to “be on guard against all kinds of greed.” Rev. Kent reminded us that greed for money was only one of the divisive forces. Greed for control and power that drives patriarchy and racial privilege is another. Greed to call the shots in families, at work, or in other social settings is another. Life in the way of a disciple, however, is bound to service for ALL, not just one person and not just one team. The harvest Jesus speaks of is meant to benefit all, not just those who can build bigger barns to keep it for later. So, too, with the graces we have been given: keeping them for self, or with the design that they should only benefit our “clan”–however we define that– is contrary to the ministry and mission of Christ. Here is a prayer to carry this week, offered by Debbonnaire Kovacs in worship and written by Rev. Kent to help us stay centered on what matters. A very special thanks to those who provided special musical prayers for our service. We are richly blessed by your shared gifts. (To see the whole service click below to select from the video gallery).
Lord of the harvest, help us have enough to share, but not so much that we forget who we have been called to become. Grant us prudence and joy in a good get, but keep us from holding on to the stuff and letting loose of our soul. We don’t want to leave others in the dust. We do not wish to pull down the barns of prudence for the empty silos of “more, more, more.” If we die rich, help us pass what we had to a greater good. If we are barely making it, send the sun and the rain and seed to meet our needs. For all of us, help us keep our neighbor, our children, the stranger, in the equation as we factor your grace and store up your love. –Rev. Kent Gilbert