Luke 16; 01-13
Godliness – Call of the Steward
Peace and dignity is a result of godliness. How do we become Godly? Where do we start and what are the secrets of Godliness?
After the days of creation and the days of sin, God searched for people to take care of his wealth. God’s wealth was more than the things of this world. God’s riches were planted in the hearts of people. Man had to nourish them and grow the riches that were planted within him. But again God’s wealth was more than the love that was planted within mankind. It was God’s dearest of all creation, mankind, that is you and me. In short God’s wealth was the people of this world.
How do we become the best in the world? It is already written in the creation narratives.
God made us all stewards of each other. God entrusted us with each other. Remember the days when God entrusted Abel to the care of Cain. What happened to Abel? Abel was killed by the keeper. The wealth was stolen from God’s hand. It was mismanaged by the person entrusted by God. Cain lost his purity. His jealousy and selfishness overcame him. He lost his dignity and Godliness. Charges were brought against him.
2000 years later we continued to fail to be the keeper of the brother. Then a nation, and a people rose up rose up and claimed their brother and sister. That is why we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of America’s one of the most important civil rights victories – Desegregation of Central High, Little Rock, AR . Why? Because here men and women took ownership of the other. Brothers and sisters were entrusted to the care of the other and they took care of them. People of all kinds and colors gave their lives to achieve and proclaim this sublime truth. Getting to that point of truth was not an easy task for anyone.
The ugly head of this monster rose up again a few days ago. This is why people were outraged when a young woman was raped and beaten without mercy in West Virginia a few days ago. Men and women with a conscience and accountability, who are the stewards of God’s wealth, namely mankind, are outraged. Wouldn’t God be outraged? Is it not another Abel sacrificed by Cain-s of today’s society? Who is the keeper of the brother? Who is the keeper of the sister? Where is the faithful steward of the Lord?
We should be proud of ourselves, we should be proud of our people who had the courage to take ownership of their actions. Our people decades ago had the courage to be the keeper of their brother.
This is what was lacking in the people of Israel. The rich landlords, the wealthy class of the Jewish people oppressed the poor of Israel. They bought them with money. They made them slaves and considered them lesser human beings. God’s best wealth was trampled down on earth and those who were entrusted with their care misused it.
Do not plunder God’s wealth for the sake of self identified security and pride. Do not plunder God’s people for selfish ends. Do not give away God’s wealth to reap fruits of sin and selfishness.
Now the question therefore is how to become Godly? How can we stomp down the evil head of this monster? Become Godly, become like the Son himself.
- Godliness is in the ability to recognize the wealth entrusted to our care. The greatest of all the wealth in this world is the human being in whose hearts God has planted seeds of love that can give birth to eternity.
- Godliness is in the ability to live a truthful life. What Pontius Pilate lacked in his life was this, which made him ask the question ‘what is the truth’? It is a mirror that shows your inside out as God sees it. Truth is internal, external and eternal.
- Godliness is a result of righteousness. Truthful living is making the unjust realize injustice.
- Godliness is being accountable to God for the gifts and blessings we have received. The whole principle of being a steward and not the one we see in the story today is being accountable to the one who has entrusted to our care great and small things of this world. Regardless of the significance of what we do in this world, we are called to be accountable. Regardless of the smallness of the matter we are entrusted to, doing it faithfully we turn into Godly people.
Today we heard the story of the people of Israel who were are reprimanded for their unfaithful ways in keeping God’s riches. This story is not about money. But it is about true wealth, the Care Of Souls entrusted to the care of the chosen people of Israel.
In the first reading we find the way the people of Israel thought they could buy the poor to satisfy their greed. They thought they could trade men and women for some cheap coins. They thought they could buy the children of God with fancy sandals or thrifty nickels.
And then we read in 1st Timothy the greatness of doing business with God. God does not trade men and women with the cheap coins made of perishable metal. God does not buy them with silver or a pair of sandals. God does not even care to balance the faulty accounts of mankind. God gives His Christ as a ransom for all. The price of each and every human was paid over and full to the brim and beyond human expectation reclaiming the best of all creation and the greatest of all wealth for Himself. God went beyond balancing human accounts to bring about an everlasting surplus.
Today’s story is the story of abundance of God’s grace and the poverty of man’s thinking. When the man was about to be sacked from his job and all that was entrusted to him, instead of turning to the Lord of abundance for mercy, help and kindness he turns to the poor man who do not have the abundance of God. He turns to the poor man for his future and security. He plays shrewd by giving the wealth stolen from the abundance of the master. He tries to buy security, safety and a home coming by buying the poor man giving him the portion of the master’s wealth.
Godliness is in the ability to become A Ransom For the Other so that the other will find God and be happy being with God. Godliness is in the ability to see the greatest wealth in the smallest of all human beings, and being faithfully returning to God what belongs to God.
· Being a good steward is the ability to recognize the greatest wealth – people.
· Being a good steward is the ability to be truthful in all things – letting God be God, and man be man.
· Being a good steward is the ability to respond to God with all our heart – weather what is entrusted is big or small.