The Holy Gospel: August 11, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 12: 32-40

Meditation: “What God Enjoys”

Jesus said that God takes pleasure in giving us the Kingdom.  These words follow the passage in which Jesus told us not to worry about our lives.

This whole section of the Sermon on the Mount is an invitation to reduce our fretting and increase our trusting.  God is involved, and does not have to be convinced to provide for us.

The counsel not to worry about food and clothing (not in the lectionary text, but just before it) is not a prohibition, it is a reminder that these things are not the staff of life, and God knows that we need them (12:30).  Jesus wants to raise our sights to what truly gives life.  For him, it is summed up in the phrase “the kingdom.”

That’s why the “prosperity gospel” is no gospel.  It asks us to focus on the wrong things–to settle for less than God intends for us.  If we believe that “things” and “stuff” are the ways we measure our lives, we have adopted a bogus worldview, even if we preach about it in Church.

God enjoys giving us “the kingdom.”  And what is that? Well, we have to explore scripture to mine the specific nuggets that define it.  It cannot be fully described in a few words.  But it is a way of life that essentially affirms God is at work on our behalf, giving us the things that provide us with abundant life. We never have to be afraid that God is passive about that!

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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