It’s the start of term and we’re all working extra hard and loving every minute and, whilst we’re sure that enthusiasm will list, there is something about the start of a new anything that always makes us dedicate our hearts and souls completely. It’s the same when we start a new club or take on a challenge – we’re often at our best at the beginning but then, over time, other things creep in and we end up distracted.
In this Sunday’s Gospel we see Jesus’ explanation for this and, perhaps, the way to avoid this in the future. In Jesus’ words, we cannot follow two leaders equally; we’ll always be tempted to listen to one over the other or find that we enjoy one more than the other. And so, it is, when we take on a new challenge – in the beginning the new thing supersedes everything else – suddenly we want to excel at football, or complete a marathon in record time, or we want to raise the most for charity but, in the end, other parts of life start to weigh back in. Maybe we cannot make it to football club because we have too much homework, or we cannot train for our marathon because we have a party to attend.
But in Jesus, we have the solution – if we put God at the centre of our lives, if we do everything with Christian purpose then we will keep that enthusiasm throughout. And that does mean everything – if God gave us a skill with a ball then let’s join football club to celebrate God’s gift. With God as our leader our enthusiasm can, and should, remain constant for what better reason to do something than to confirm our love for God?
Luke 16:1-13 (ESV)
The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Did you know that every week we send home The Wednesday Word? This is your chance to read the Gospel for the coming Sunday together as a family – we send it home in a child friendly format and it includes activities and puzzles and ideas for discussion and prayer.