26 August 2007

Luke 12:13-21

I heard a useful sermon two weeks ago (Aug. 12). "Everything must go." It struck a chord, not only because Pastor Tonya delivered it (she has a way of speaking directly to my heart) but also because I need to review my possessions and shed as many as possible. I'm not quite at "everything must go," but I'm making a concerted effort to become less of a hoarder.

The sermon even referenced the TLC show "Clean Sweep." This obsession with possession or "the passion to possess" is something I struggle with, although not as diligently as I could or should. Mostly I just give in - worry about consequences later. But there are immediate consequences for me - for this hoarding mentality. Financially, physically I'm crowded out, my continual purchases. I have more to haul as I move about. Just too much. I soothe my troubled soul with these shopping trips - somehow the action of spending money alleviates the stress and upset feelings, but of course only temporarily.

The good news is: there's another way! The Holy Spirit can fill that void that I attempt to fill myself with continual shopping - useless and wasteful. But I'm afraid I don't know how to recognize and let him in.

Anyway, the point of the sermon: wealth is not evil, but wealth leading our life and when we focus on hoarding and consuming, that's evil. Hoarding possessions/being greedy is idolatry. There are no pockets in a shroud, so eventually everything WILL GO! But we can find wealth in God - wealth that doesn't require pockets.

Hope is found in generosity. Generosity is the freedom from the bondage of our possessions. Sell your possessions and give alms.

(I think even if I sell SOME of my possessions and give the money to the poor/the church, I'd be taking a step in the right direction...Craigslist here I come)

From my prayer Bible about this scripture:

Father, I confess that sometimes I struggle with the need to acquire more things. Teach me to be content with what I have and to value my time with you.
The sermon today was about prayer posture - kneeling/closing eyes/etc. The Lord's Prayer, Luke's version. I enjoyed and learned, but I didn't take notes like I did a couple weeks ago. (I missed a Sunday because of the beach trip.) Next weekend I'll be in Indiahoma, and the following weekend, Sunday school will start again. I found a note about when I started the class - last October, so I'm coming up on a year with this Sunday school class. Looking forward to getting back into it.

~Mari...

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