Sunday Reflection – September 25, 2022


Lazarus and the Rich Man

Luke 16 19 “There was a certain rich man who clothed himself in purple and fine linen, and who feasted luxuriously every day. 20 At his gate lay a certain poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 Lazarus longed to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Instead, dogs would come and lick his sores.

22 “The poor man died and was carried by angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 While being tormented in the place of the dead, he looked up and saw Abraham at a distance with Lazarus at his side. 24 He shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I’m suffering in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received good things, whereas Lazarus received terrible things. Now Lazarus is being comforted and you are in great pain. 26 Moreover, a great crevasse has been fixed between us and you. Those who wish to cross over from here to you cannot. Neither can anyone cross from there to us.’

27 “The rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, Father, send Lazarus to my father’s house. 28 I have five brothers. He needs to warn them so that they don’t come to this place of agony.’ 29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets. They must listen to them.’ 30 The rich man said, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will change their hearts and lives.’ 31 Abraham said, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, then neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’”

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Lazarus & the Rich Man (September 25th)

Read Luke 16:19-31 with your family.

If Luke 15 was the chapter about the lost things, then Luke 16 is about how rich people don’t understand Jesus’ teachings.

The story today is what we call ‘apocryphal’, meaning it is just a story, not a prediction, and it is meant to both fill us with hope and warn us about what could happen if we don’t follow the path Jesus is pointing towards. The hope comes with the promise that things will get better. The warning is to remember that the first five books of the Bible (called the Books of Moses by some) and the prophetical books in the Bible all tell of how we are to live: How we are to use money, treat ourselves and each other, welcome strangers, and work for peace. Jesus did not come to start a new religion, he came to get all the Hebrews and Gentiles to look again at the Hebrew Scriptures and recognize that everything they needed to do and be was in those stories.

People didn’t listen.

That’s why we have the ironic line at the end of this passage that says “even someone coming back from the dead wouldn’t make a difference”. Jesus was not talking about Lazarus in that line, he was talking about himself.

Everything we need to know about living the live God wants us to live can be found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), and again in the Christian scriptures (New Testament), we just have to read it, recognize it, and do it.

Sunday Reflection – September 18, 2022


Faithful with Money

Luke 16 Jesus also said to the disciples, “A certain rich man heard that his household manager was wasting his estate. He called the manager in and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give me a report of your administration because you can no longer serve as my manager.’

“The household manager said to himself, What will I do now that my master is firing me as his manager? I’m not strong enough to dig and too proud to beg. I know what I’ll do so that, when I am removed from my management position, people will welcome me into their houses.

“One by one, the manager sent for each person who owed his master money. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil.’ The manager said to him, ‘Take your contract, sit down quickly, and write four hundred fifty gallons.’ Then the manager said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘One thousand bushels of wheat.’ He said, ‘Take your contract and write eight hundred.’

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he acted cleverly. People who belong to this world are more clever in dealing with their peers than are people who belong to the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to make friends for yourselves so that when it’s gone, you will be welcomed into the eternal homes.

10 “Whoever is faithful with little is also faithful with much, and the one who is dishonest with little is also dishonest with much. 11 If you haven’t been faithful with worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 If you haven’t been faithful with someone else’s property, who will give you your own? 13 No household servant can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: How to use money (September 18th)

Read Luke 16:1-13 with your family.

Money is one of the hardest conversations to have in the church. It was like that in Jesus’ day too. For some, getting rich was a sure sign that God favoured them. However, Jesus taught people that God didn’t value money, God valued relationships and how we shared what we have with each other.

Today’s lesson is considered to be the most confusing parable ever told. Many scholars admit they have no idea what is really go on or why it was included in the Gospel. Others have tried to understand it better and show that God values the relationships the steward was forming more than the money that the rich man lost as a result of having what was owed him reduced.

The last line is really the important one: we cannot serve the God of heaven and the God of getting rich. (people are pretty sure ‘Mamona‘ was the Syrian god of wealth). We have to pick how we use our money. If it is to help others, then we are doing what God wants us to do with what we have. However, if we are only using our money to make more money for ourselves, we are not following God.

Sunday Reflection – October 10, 2021


a rich man’s question

Mark 10 17 As Jesus continued down the road, a man ran up, knelt before him, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to obtain eternal life?”

18 Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except the one God. 19 You know the commandments: Don’t commit murder. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t steal. Don’t give false testimony. Don’t cheat. Honour your father and mother.”

20 “Teacher,” he responded, “I’ve kept all of these things since I was a boy.”

21 Jesus looked at him carefully and loved him. He said, “You are lacking one thing. Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me.” 22 But the man was dismayed at this statement and went away saddened, because he had many possessions.

23 Looking around, Jesus said to his disciples, “It will be very hard for the wealthy to enter God’s kingdom!” 24 His words startled the disciples, so Jesus told them again, “Children, it’s difficult to enter God’s kingdom! 25 It’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.”

26 They were shocked even more and said to each other, “Then who can be saved?”

27 Jesus looked at them carefully and said, “It’s impossible with human beings, but not with God. All things are possible for God.”

28 Peter said to him, “Look, we’ve left everything and followed you.”

29 Jesus said, “I assure you that anyone who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or farms because of me and because of the good news 30 will receive one hundred times as much now in this life—houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and farms (with harassment)—and in the coming age, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.”

Performed by Margaret Whisselle