“Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” Most of us can identify with that request. It’s only fair: each member should receive their own portion of a family’s wealth when the time comes to divide it.
Once you finally get a job, then you need to get a “real” job. Then you can expect to be laid off at least once in your life. Then you have to retool and enter the workforce again. Then even if you get your “dream” job, you might come to the realization that you’re destroying your family and your personal life, and the dream becomes a bit of a nightmare. Then you begin to realign all your goals. Then you begin to look toward retirement, and you begin to imagine what your vocation is going to be when you retire.
Americans suffer from a debilitating disease that deadens the senses and causes people to panic and hoard. Persons of faith aren't immune to it. The disease is "affluenza" and one of its key symptoms is greed.
One of my seminary teachers once said that if you can’t think of anything original to preach, you should tell Bible stories—they have enough power to turn people’s hearts toward God. This may not work with every text, but it certainly works with the drama and wisdom of the story of Naboth and the story of the woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears.
Ten years ago, even five years ago, the American market economy was the model for and the envy of the world. The marvelous flexibility of our economy, our belief that “change” is a good word, our constant striving for innovation were and are factors that make ours an economic system that can compete with—and beat—any other.
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