Habakkuk 2:5-11 (NRSV)
Moreover, wealth is treacherous;
the arrogant do not endure.
They open their throats wide as Sheol;
like Death they never have enough.
They gather all nations for themselves,
and collect all peoples as their own.
Shall not everyone taunt such people and, with mocking riddles, say about them,
"Alas for you who heap up what is not your own!"
How long will you load yourselves with goods taken in pledge?
Will not your own creditors suddenly rise,
and those who make you tremble wake up?
Then you will be booty for them.
Because you have plundered many nations,
all that survive of the peoples shall plunder you -
because of human bloodshed, and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who live in them.
"Alas for you who get evil gain for your houses,
setting your nest on high
to be safe from the reach of harm!"
You have devised shame for your house
by cutting off many peoples;
you have forfeited your life.
The very stones will cry out from the wall,
and the plaster will respond from the woodwork.
Today I am reminded of the expression, "to whom much is given, much is required."
When God grants us great wealth or great influence, we have an obligation to share our resources with others who are not as fortunate.
I think of the Golden Rule that I learned as a child, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
All that we have has been gifted to us by a kind and generous God in stewardship. As stewards, we are to use our King's wealth wisely, advancing the Kingdom of Love in all that we say or do.
As we give of our time, talent, and treasure to the work of Love, good will overflow! The hungry will be fed. The thirst will drink. The naked will be clothed. The homeless will be housed. The sick and imprisoned will be visited and the widows and orphans will receive care.
My friends, it is NOT all about us! It is all about HIM--The One who lived and died and rose again in order to make atonement for our sin and gift us with eternal life.
His name is JESUS. And on the night that he was betrayed, he taught us, "If I your Lord and Master have served you, you ought to serve one another." Another word for this type of radical service is LOVE.
Let us love one another with glad and generous hearts, for God is love!
Let us pray: Oh God! Please forgive me for being so selfish with the time, talent, and treasure that you have entrusted to me. Please help me to utilize my many gifts in ways that bring glory to your name and fill all of your children with your love. I pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.