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November 20, 2013, 9:18 AM

No Do Overs

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried."  LUKE 16:19-22 NRSV
 I lifted up all summer long that we are called to action, to serve, to forgive and repent. Jesus calls us to be generous and serve compassionately in every way and every day. It is the result of our relationship with Jesus that being a disciple of Jesus is a way of life. This parable, is not a roadmap, or a how to, of the great beyond, but it reveals the certainties or the cause and affect our choices carry with them and that there are no do over's.
 Jesus does not teach us that riches are bad and poverty is good. Poverty is not a virtue. He stresses that abundance carries with it the responsibilities that God entrusts to us. We can choose many things but the real choice is how we live our lives, how we use the abundance that God gives us.  Notice that the rich man is not even named...because the rich man could be anyone of us and the poor man is lifted up complete with a name Lazarus, it personalizes those in need. It shows that our status in life here does not save us. We are reminded that only by the grace God offers are we saved it is not by our works or deeds. WE are called to serve!

I ask you to look backwards in Luke to see the "yeah well" to the selfish, "blind" rich man...The Good Samaritan, who saw another man close to death and provided him food, shelter, clothing, and medical care...anything that was needed....anything.

Jesus, in his "comedic" fashion catches folks off guard...those that are nodding thinking to themselves, puffing up their chests, "I sure am glad I am not like the rich man." Understand Jesus does not want us giving the scraps of our abundance to the poor! Instead, he commands us, his followers to not only give, help and support but seat the poor at our tables. Jesus doesn't let folks get too comfortable with themselves as we/they read this parable condemning the rich man as we are "baited" about those scrapes of abundance. The rich man does what most of us do, we turn our eyes away from the needs of others and spend our attention and most of our resources on ourselves. I dare not go on with this thread as I will go to another page as it is almost like going over the hour on Sunday! Most certainly another time!

Life determines destiny…
    Life determines eternity...
        Life determines eternal life...

There are no mistakes! WE continually need to be reminded that we are saved by Grace but we are called to serve in our faithful response to God's love. Did I just repeat myself....oh no!

What must I do to inherit eternal life?
The question is always in the air
    always in front of us and
        always following us.

I believe we all know the answer to the question...
    just like the lawyer did back in Luke 10 or
        the Rich Man or
            the Pharisees, the Sadducees or the Chief Priests.
Like the tax collectors,
    the disciples,
                deacons or
                    anyone who hears the words,
                        we know the answer to the question...

But is my neighbor really….
     that man on the grate begging for money?
                THERE ARE NO DOOVERS!

But is my neighbor really….
    that person shivering on the corner looking for warmth?
                THERE ARE NO DOOVERS!

But is my neighbor really….
    that woman who sees us we get our morning coffee and a donut?    
                 THERE ARE NO DOOVERS!                   

But is my neighbor really….
    the person limping along as a result of no medical care?
                 THERE ARE NO DOOVERS!      

But is my neighbor really....
    that person who sleeps on the streets whose roof is the sky?
                THERE ARE NO DOOVERS!
 Hear their cries...
    listen to their calls...
        see them...
            feel their pain...
                use the abundance God gives to us...      
                                                                            THERE ARE NO DOOVERS!

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