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!

“Take care,

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

Sooooooooooo what?

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.

Ecclesiastes 2:18 - Ecclesiastes 2:23 (NRSV)

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!

In Christ

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

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