Tuesday, 24 January 2006

Money Talk:

Seven years ago I believe the word of the LORD came to Jude and I through Archbishop Curtis saying, in effect, “Go to the people of StB in the great city of Medicine Hat and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Whereupon, like Jonah, I first headed the other way, for exotic Tarshish (in a bid for a parish on Vancouver Island) but I was spewed back up on the beach and here we are.

Here’s the message I believe the LORD has given me to proclaim to you today. This comes from today’s readings, readings from my daily office this past week, and a couple that came to mind this morning as I pondered this message.

From today’s Gospel reading, Mark 1.14-20:
The time has come! The kingdom of God is near.
From today’s Epistle, 1 Cor 7.29-31:
The time is short. From now on those who use the things of the world (and we’re among those on the planet who use them the most), should live as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
A passage that came to mind as I pondered today’s message:
1 John 2.16: For all that is in the world-- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. 
Also from Mark 1.14-20:
Repent and believe the good news!
Repent of what? Following the theme for January…being unfaithful with our money:

Repent of hubris…arrogant pride or presumption:
Dt8:17-18 Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.' You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth.
 Repent of stealing:
Malachi 3.8: Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, 'How have we robbed you?' In your tithes and contributions.
 Repent of anxiety:
Mat 6.31-33: Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.