Pentecost 16
Collect: Lord, so many distractions, some of them blessed. Lord, so many
disturbances, some of them terrible. From you, however, comes true peace, true
happiness, true joy. As we struggle to chart of course through a world filled with
blessedness and terror, we call upon you as our guiding light, and your word as a
lamp unto our feet. Bless us in our worship today so we may go forth with full
assurance of your presence and your power, Amen.

From the desk of the minister: This is our place of preparation
Listening to the parable last week about Jesus, “you cannot serve two masters,
God and money”; it makes me sit up and listen again because of this weeks story.
Now when Jesus told this story Luke clearly indicates that he was attacking the
Pharisees who loved money but we should not slip into any sort of self-righteous
Pharisee bashing. Whilst the Pharisees might have been a convenient target,
Jesus’s real concern is to expose the problems that lie behind the love of money.
Looking to the parable, we are told of two men, a rich man and Lazarus, a
beggar. The story at face value does not tell us too much about these men and their
morality and their way of life but there are some indicators. For instance, we must
consider that the rich man is really very rich. He wears purple every day and those
of you who know your ancient fabrics would know that purple was the most
expensive dye. It was, and still is, associated with royalty. Not only does the man
wear purple, the cloth is of the finest linen and we are told that his meals are feasts
everyday. Lazarus, the beggar had all the troubles in this world. He was covered
with sores and the dogs would lick his sores. People brought him to the rich man’s
house, hoping that he might be able to eat the bits of food that fell from the table.
The poor man died and was carried by angels to sit beside Abraham at the feast in
heaven. The rich man died, was buried and is in Hades, where he was in great pain.

This world is our preparation place, the world we live, this is where we
practice compassion, love and all the good things in life.

On the other hand, some people will ignore others, despite their wealth and means to help. To me, to
see someone who feasts everyday and still ignore someone who is dying for a piece
of food, this is being ‘indifferent’ at its best. We are reminded that we will reap the
seeds that we sow.

Live life to the fullest in this world as our preparation place
for the next.

Peace & grace, Rev Maile