Sunday, 1 August 2021
Title: Rich But Foolish
By Elder Bryan Lee 李惠隆
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.”
If there is one precious lesson I can take away from this covid pandemic it is this: Health is wealth. When the health system of any country is overwhelmed, when there is no hospital bed to accommodate a seriously ill covid patient, money is no use. I never imagined I would live to see this happening in my life time. Yet despite the fact that money cannot solve our problems, countless people think and live and make choices as if it can. This money centred worldview is an illusion. And to cling on to this belief is fatal. In correcting this fatal perspective, Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15)
And Jesus went on to tell the story of the rich fool.
“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.” (Luke 12:16-19)
Like any hardworking person, the barn builder was very much blessed in his business. There was no indication of dishonesty, injustice or corruption in the way he did his business. He was a forward looking businessman and made very good plans as his business grew leaps and bounds. He was looking forward to living the good life. Is anything wrong with that? In a money centred worldview, that seems perfectly fine. Then comes the big surprise: But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” (Luke 12:20)
This parable serves as a warning to all of us. Jesus applies the rich fool’s experience to that of others: “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21). To lay up treasures for ourselves and not be rich toward God means clinging to our riches instead of honoring God by helping those who are physically and spiritually needy.
And so two weeks ago we launched the covid initiatives to help those who are physically and financially affected by this pandemic. We praise and thank God that many of you gave generously and some even gave beyond your means. We thank and praise God for blessing us with abundant resources. He has blessed us so that we can bless others. Freely we receive, freely we give.
One thing is sure, we cannot outgive God. The greatest Giver proves His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. We love because He first loved us. We give because He first gave to us.
August is also mission month of our church. Let us then use the resources that God has blessed us to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people for such a time as this.
Mighty God, We have never seen such unprecedented devastation in so many spheres of life. And yet in the midst of such a time as this You have entrusted so much resources to our church. We have surplus when others outside our church are going through tremendous suffering and hardships. We cannot sit idly in clear conscience when we have the means to provide physical and spiritual relief to the many out there who are suffering. Help us O God to trust and obey! In Jesus” Name. Amen.
路加福音 12:16-19 就用比喻对他们说：“有一个财主田产丰盛，自己心里思想说：‘我的出产没有地方收藏，怎么办呢？’ 又说：‘我要这么办：要把我的仓房拆了，另盖更大的，在那里好收藏我一切的粮食和财物，然后要对我的灵魂说：“灵魂哪，你有许多财物积存，可做多年的费用，只管安安逸逸地吃喝快乐吧！”