Text: Luke 6:17-31
Research says that many of us would be more comfortable talking about our sex lives than our money. If that is true, the title of this sermon, “A Money Conversation,” is causing some anxiety right about now. The real truth may be that we don’t mind talking about money in the abstract, but when we talk about “our” money we get itchy. Are you feeling itchy?
With that acknowledgement, I am wondering this morning why is it that we have such a hard time, especially churches like ours, talking openly about money? Why do we tend to treat the topic of money as a dirty secret—as something that is off-limits and too personal for communal conversation? If you think about it, this reluctance to talk about money in the context of our faith is rather odd given that Jesus had so much to say about it. The truth is that Jesus’ references to money are second in number only to his teachings about the kingdom of God. Allow me to run down the short list.
- The story of the money changers in the temple
- The rich young ruler
- Jesus’ teaching that one must abandon wealth to follow him
- Jesus’ instruction to “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”
- The widow’s mite
- That clear image of, “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”
- The parable of “storing up your treasure”
- The parable of the talents
- The story of the Pharisee and the tax collector
- That familiar passage that begins, “Consider the lilies”
- Or the one that says, “No one can serve two masters – you cannot serve God and money”