Thursday August 6, 2020
Today’s Scripture: Mark 10:23-27
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
As I was thinking about this text, I was reminded that the phrase “Everything is possible with God” connected to rich people entering into the Kingdom of God. For some reason I had separated the two in my mind. When you put them together, as Jesus did, you realize that it REALLY is hard (impossible?) for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.
This is a little harsh don’t you think? I mean by the standards of the majority of the world you and I are super rich. So, are we excluded from the Kingdom? The answer is of course, no. But it’s hard. Really hard.
Why is that? Well for one, God is creating a kingdom that honors the poor and the outcast and the marginalized. That’s the way the Kingdom works. But the rich usually have self-interest at their core. This makes it harder to prioritize those who have little.
Also, the Kingdom of God is about justice. However, those who are rich often see justice for others as a threat to their way of life. If someone else gets justice or equality then that means less for me, right?
The rich, and yes, I mean all of us, are often distracted by consumption. What’s in it for me? What can you do to sell me this product? How can I have a better experience than my neighbor? This attitude of consumption is not just about buying things. It’s about creating a world that caters to our every want and desire and self-interest. But the Kingdom of God is not a product to be consumed. It’s a life to be lived. A life that is focused on the other instead of self, a life that is more about love than about money, a love of peace instead of the violence that often comes with consuming.
We need to take Jesus’ words seriously and ask ourselves if our wealth is hindering our participation in the Kingdom. Or, are we using our wealth in the service of the Kingdom? The answer may surprise us.
Forgive us for the many ways our wealth blocks are true participation in the Kingdom. Help us to focus our attention in life on the Kingdom instead of our consumption. Give us eyes to see where our wealth might be blocking us from fulling partaking in what you have in store for us.