Summary: Sometimes we let goods be our God instead of letting God, who is good, be our God.
A Good God or a Goods God
For years there has been a Snoopy poster
that shows how he spends his week:
On Sunday, he dances, with the caption,
On Monday, he scowls, with the caption,
"Don’t speak to me."
On Tuesday, he lies flat on his back as though dead, with the caption,
"God, get me through this day"
On Wednesday as the clouds of doom strike upon him the captions reads
"Please, Please, let me die."
On Thursday, Snoopy begins to sit up, with the caption,
"Life slowly seeps back into my body."
On Friday, his tail wags as the caption reads
On Saturday, Snoopy is dancing again, with the caption,
Snoopy’s work week
probably describes the world’s notion
of how to live our lives
dreading the “have toos”
and loving the “eat, drink, and be merrys”
like the rich fool
we are encouraged to store up for ourselves
we are encouraged to believe
that an earthly reward
fame, fortune, fun
has some redeeming (satisfying) value
and may even save us – redeem us - from some horrible ends like
poverty, sickness, loneliness, or work!
But our gospel lessons tells us that
goods cannot be God
Even though we know that God is the greatest good
we struggle with the problem of making goods into God.
Take the man from the crowd in the gospel
He came to Jesus asking him
to help him get part of the inheritance from his brother.
Probably he was a younger brother
and was unhappy with his part of the split.
The eldest son usually received the largest share of the inheritance
Jesus’ reply indicates that it wasn’t a case of injustice
that was involved
but a matter of greed!
Be on your guard
against all kinds of greed
for one’s life doesn’t consist in the abundance of possessions.”
And what about the rich fool
he makes the mistake of assuming
that bodily comforts were all there was to life.
He assumed that body and soul are the same.
“Soul … relax,
eat drink, and be merry”
Soul is more than body
Soul refers to the total of life
our thinking, living, being
When the Lord demands his life,
his goods failed him
goods are not God!
and a person is worth more than his goods.
What’s wrong with getting caught up in getting, having, possessing?
Our lessons put it this way
If we try to succeed like the world expects us to do
then we are going to fail to succeed in setting our mind on things above
we will fail in putting our trust and faith in God
Well, when life ends,
you can’t keep what you have.
It gets passed on to the next generation.
The bumper sticker -- "The one with the most toys -- WINS"
is also seen reading -- "The one with the most toys -- STILL DIES!"
The world encourages us to make goods into God
But goods cannot help us out
in recession or depression.
Even in good times
we can be depressed while working for goods.
The writer of Ecclesiastes put it this way
Ecclesiastes 1:2 (NRSV)
2 Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
18I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun,
seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me
19—and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish?
22What do mortals get from all the toil and strain
with which they toil under the sun?
23For all their days are full of pain,
and their work is a vexation;
even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.
The now famous “9-5” song1 by Dolly Parton
bemoans the efforts of making it in a 9-5 job.
Even in the best of times,
the goods God fails
“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself
and is not rich toward God.
God who is the giver of all goods
is the giver of the greatest good
The greatest good
is the one telling the story of the Rich Fool!
God has been redeemed all of life and its goods.
He died and rose again
to release people from the bondage of goods
and to give freedom for life with him./
He was raised to the right hand of God
so that all might be raised with him.
Those raised with Christ set their minds on things above (Colossians 3:2)
so put to death
whatever belongs to your earthly nature
like greed which is idolatry.
No longer are goods God
but the good God transforms all of life through Christ.
Ecclesiastes also has this to say in ch 2, vs 24 – 25