Sylvia Alloway, Granada Hills, CA
Do you ever dream about being rich? If you were rich what would you do?
If I Were Rich…
The Monaco Yacht Show features the Silver Fast – In case you don’t know what to do with your money.
Every September, yacht manufacturers sail their newest and best “super yachts” to Port Hercules in the principality of Monaco for the annual yacht show. Millionaires are not invited. To afford the craft displayed here one must be a billionaire several times over.
After paying an admission of £150 (about $225), patrons are invited to examine over 120 superyachts and megayachts.
The star of this year’s show is the Silver Fast, constructed by Silveryachts of Perth, Australia. According to the description released by the company, this vessel is 77 meters (252.6ft) with a top speed of 27 knots (about 30 mph), and has “striking new all dark silver paint.” The price is not mentioned, but as the saying goes, “If you have to ask you can’t afford it.”
Yachts like the Silver Fast are meant to allow the owner and guests to explore the world in any way they want without sacrificing comfort or being tied to a cruise ship’s itinerary. While most of us will never experience such luxury, it is fun to imagine what a cruise on the Silver Fast would be like.
- Do you receive an allowance or income from a job?
- On what do you spend most of your money? If you save it, for what are you saving?
- Individually list the top five most important things in your life.
- Would your priorities change if you were rich? If so, in what way?
Lectionary 28/Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
(Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year B at Lectionary Readings
For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.
People often quote St. Paul as saying “Money is the root of all evil,” but those aren’t quite Paul’s words. What he actually said was “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). This brings to mind a stingy miser, or a covetous schemer.
The rich man of today’s Gospel was not either of these. He was not an evil person by anyone’s standards. While he was probably exaggerating when he claimed to have kept all the commandments from his youth, he truly was seeking eternal life from Jesus. Somehow he knew that keeping the commandments wasn’t enough.
In fact, his sincerity impressed Jesus. We read that he loved the man. However he saw one obstacle to this seeker’s goal. Riches. Would this fellow give up that beautiful embroidered coat, those shining leather sandals, that jingling purse to serve God? So Jesus asked, and was no doubt saddened by the answer – the man turned away. He loved his wealth more than the promise of eternal life.
When we think of obstacles to eternal life, we might picture terrible sins, slavery to addictions, or ruthless tactics to gain success. But Jesus says the greatest obstacle can be the very thing we consider the greatest blessing – wealth. Dependence on money for meaning in our lives can block us off from Christ’s kingdom more effectively than the ugliest sins.
Some commentators suggest that Jesus’ teaching about the camel and the needle’s eye refers to a gate into the city of Jerusalem called “the needle’s eye.” The gate was so narrow that if merchants wanted to enter they first had to unload all the goods off their camels.
What “goods” are blocking our way to God’s Kingdom? How can we “unload” them?
- Even people who aren’t rich can put “stuff” between themselves and God. Friends, games, social media and other things can dull our spiritual senses and crowd God out of our lives. How can we discover what is keeping us from full commitment to Christ?
- Give some examples of things that can replace God in our lives. How can we overcome these obstacles?
- Does God want everyone to give away all they have? Why or why not?
Go back to the lists students made of the top five most important things in their lives. Ask students to share their answers and from them compile a list of the five things mentioned most. Could any of these things interfere with our relationship to Christ? How? Must we give these things up completely, or can they still have a place in our lives?
Father God, you have given us objects and activities that give us pleasure. We thank you for all that we have and ask you to keep us alert to anything that would crowd out the Lord as the center of our lives. Give us wisdom to use all you have given us for your glory. Amen.