We are only Passing Through 9-18-2022

After many years and several thousand miles, Dad traded in the
family station wagon for his dream car – a sleek, silver sedan.
He immediately laid down strict rules for the car. He would
carefully monitor its use. No more joyriding to the beach or leisurely
drives to the mountains. Trips to the corner market could be made on
bicycle or on foot.
There would be absolutely no eating anything in the new car.
Trips for ice cream and fall “tailgate” parties were history.
And this car was not going to be used like a truck as the old wagon
was: there would have to be another way to haul new trees and flowers
for the yard, shuttle the kids to their activities, move the older ones into
their dorms in September.
And the child who accidentally spilled her coke on the bumper will
never ever do that again! Every weekend now Dad spends hours washing, waxing, and detailing his pride and joy. He faithfully sees to the oil and maintenance. He never takes the car out of the garage in the rain or
snow, terrified that salt should start to eat the paint or that mud should
destroy the interior.
Yes, Dad finally owns his dream car. But the other family
members miss the old wagon and the happy times it made possible – and
they begin to wonder: Does the dream car own Dad?
In our gospel today Jesus warns all of us, his followers, about the
dangers of money and possessions. Notice he does not say that money
and possessions are bad, they can be very good things if used properly.
The serious warning has to do with this: We can become so
obsessed with the pursuit of wealth and the manipulation of power that
we seem to give up a piece of our humanity in the process.
As computer printouts and balance sheets become the center of our
existence, we unconsciously push the people and relationships dearest to
us into the margins of our lives.
Our scripture reminds us that one has to be concerned about
money, our possessions. But a thin line divides concern and being
controlled. You have heard that old saying, “Money is the root of all
evil,” and everyone thinks it comes from the bible. It does not! 1Tm
6:10 is one of the most misquoted passages in the whole bible. It
doesn’t read, “Money is the root of all evil,” it reads, “The love of
money is the root of all evil.”
I would like to give you a little bit of homework for the week. I
would like you to think/pray about/discuss these three questions:
1. How much does the love of money play a part in our life?
2. How can we use our money, talents and time to help God’s
3. Name some valuables in our life that money can not buy?
I close with this: In the last century, a tourist form America paid a
visit to a renowned Polish rabbi, Hofetz Chaim. He was astonished to
see that the rabbi’s house was only a simple room filled with books, plus
a table and a bench. “Rabbi,” asked the tourist, “where is your
furniture?” “Where is yours?” replied the rabbi. “Mine?” asked the
puzzled American, “but I am only a visitor here. I’m only passing
through.” The rabbi said, “So am I. So am I.”
Do our possessions own us, does the dream car own Dad? I hope
not. Remember, we are all only passing through!


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