This weekend we have a parable that jumps straight into the thick of it. Having finished his triple-threat on recovering the lost and welcoming all those who are unwanted into the heart of God’s most intimate community, Christ moves immediately into a conversation about money.
Yes. That’s right. The dreaded topic none of us want to talk about.
Even better, the Pharisees are still listening. And in the gospels, they are sometimes described as “lovers of money.” Interesting…
This weekend’s parable goes straight at it with the parable of the Shrewd Manager. This man’s about to be fired. So he goes about and forgives a major chunk of the debts owed to his master. In so doing, he earns his soon-to-be-ex-boss’s admiration. And Jesus’s, to boot.
You read that correctly. Jesus actually applauds the shrewd manager in this parable. Then he goes on to say that if we do not know how to be good stewards of the dishonest wealth, how will we ever handle the heavenly riches? Because no one can serve both money and God.
Anyone else confused? (For reference, I’m raising my hand.)
All joking aside, this weekend’s story is one that requires a lot of unpacking so that we can dispense with our fears that Jesus has truly fallen into the briar patch this time.
What I will say is this: how we think about and use our resources – all of our resources – is going to be pretty central to the discussion. Something to ponder.
Blessings, Pastor Janie