Summary: The final sermon in the Living in Christ sermon series - this one works from the point of our riches found in Christ Jesus.

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Concordia Lutheran Church

Pentecost 10, Aug. 1, 2010

Living Rich in…Christ

Colossian 3:1-11 ,Ecc. 1 and Luke 13:13-21

† In Jesus Name †

My brothers and sisters in Christ, as you set your view, and your life’s direction on things above, may you realize the rich freedom you have in Christ, freed from those things which are vain and without value!

The Struggle of Futility

Futile, meaningless, senseless, pointless, of no purpose the modern translations use, to explain this word vanity. It is so pictured in the life of the gospel story rich man, whose life was dedicated to building and building so he could rest in retirement, only to die without ever enjoying it at all.

Solomon’s words are so descriptive of life today, life without God, spent chasing after the gods of this world, of this time. Hear them again, a bit differently this time. Your notes page has them from a modern Bible called “the Message”,

17 I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It's smoke—and spitting into the wind. 18 And I hated everything I'd accomplished and accumulated on this earth. I can't take it with me—no, I have to leave it to whoever comes after me. 19 Whether they're worthy or worthless—and who's to tell?—they'll take over the earthly results of my intense thinking and hard work. [ It is all ] Smoke. 20 That's when I called it quits, gave up on anything that could be hoped for on this earth. 21 What's the point of working your fingers to the bone if you hand over what you worked for to someone who never lifted a finger for it? Smoke, that's what it is. A bad business from start to finish. 22 So what do you get from a life of hard labor? 23 Pain and grief from dawn to dusk. Never a decent night's rest. Nothing but smoke.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-23 (MSG)

In view of this life, I refer you to the title of our sermon, “We are living rich,…. In Christ”. As I look at our world, I am more than convinced that we are rich, for what we have, unlike the treasure of this world is not futire, it is not meaningless, it is not pointless, it has purpose, and it is not vanity.

The reason? The selection from Paul’s epistle expresses it so clearly, “Christ is all, and in all.

Practices caused by vain things…by setting your mind on earthly things

The parable about the man who built a worldly kingdom, is told in reaction to a story that could easily be heard today. A man, who feels cheated by his brother, asks Jesus to step in, to make his brother do what is right. I’ve heard this a few times, and in all honesty, I’ve thought it, as a child with a older brother, and as one who wonders sometime why life doesn’t seem all that fair.

We don’t like it when the world is unfair by our own standards, we don’t like it when we don’t get our own way. Even though we would say that money, or pleasure or things aren’t what we are about, if someone has something we deserve, or if someone would try to take that which we consider ours, we get a bit…frustrated. Even more frustrated when we consider how hard we worked, like Solomon, and yet don’t gain that which we want, or when we have to watch others get the reward for our hard work.

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