was in heaven for two days this week; it's hot up there too. I had set
up the pop-up camper at a campsite. Had brought along my favorite
groceries and books and settled in for some R & R in beautiful
surroundings. Next to my campsite were towering trees--an elm must have
stretched fifty or sixty feet above the earth, while the oak didn't get
serious about branches until at least 40 feet up. Nearby, a nuthatch or
woodpecker belted out a percussive tune and then the cicada choir jumped
in with their zinger sounds; one energetic spider had strung a
micro-cable of silk connecting two trees as if about to perform a daring
balancing act on the high wire. So I was up in heaven for a few moments.
I was on vacation and all was right in the world. "Soul, you have ample
goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry. Another glass
of iced tea, please." ...
This morning's lesson has a lot to do with leisure, with living, with
getting a fresh perspective on things. I imagine Jesus balancing atop a
huge bolder that forms a chain of rocks amid an otherwise flat plain. No
matter where he turns his head people have gathered. Thousands of
pilgrims have come desperate to hear his strange revolutionary words and
to be healed and exorcised of evil spirits. This is the most impassioned
speech he will ever give. Time is short. Jesus is short on specifics yet
clear-headed enough about what lies ahead at the end of his journey to
Jerusalem. So with his own death before him, Jesus now pulls out the
stops and preaches his often-heard "No Fear" sermon for a final time...
Now we do have a problem now. Just live off the interest? Just ease
out of life? Just unplug ourselves from life and take it easy? An
interruptive voice breaks up this guy’s thought. "Fool," says God.
"Tonight the Grim Reaper comes for you and your soul will be required.
So then who'll get your things; you certainly won't."
Seems to be a straightforward
story about greed. Greed is probably one of the biggest temptations we
face. And we're trained to be greedy quite early in life
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