Ordinary 18 4 August 2019

Vicar’s Reflection: Ordinary Sunday 18, 4 August 2019. Rich Towards God

A legacy that endures. A life that makes a difference. These things come to matter more in the face of the shortness and unfairness of life. Some have the good fortune to be blessed with brains, talent, or other advantages in life, making the normal accomplishments of family, career and the esteem of colleagues and friends enough. But some people push to go further; to work harder; to acquire and gain more than others, like the man in the parable (Luke 12.13ff). He was a good farmer, but he wanted more. He wanted to expand, to become wealthy in order to enjoy the good things for himself, with no thought for others, according to Jesus, and in a moment, he lost it all. Who then will gain from all his scheming and planning? This same question is tackled by the writer of Ecclesiastes 1, who reflects on and laments the apparent futility of labour and life. “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind” is his conclusion. Is this apparent futility real? Not, according to Jesus if we are “rich toward God”. Even for those who are born into hardship and poverty, who have struggled against disadvantage and prejudice can be rich towards God. This makes a difference to them and to our world. For being rich towards God leaves a legacy of forgiven sin, reconciled enemies, mended hearts, freed captives and lives that make a difference. Alex Czerwonka

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