Students sitting outside Bockman
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Greed takes many forms and can be seen in different ways, yet the simplistic definition of desiring something so much that we are willing to do just about anything to possess it is not quite enough. I have come to realize that holding on to what we think we have earned or are entitled to so that no one else could have any portion of it is also greed. Unfortunately, this manifestation of greed is easily seen in our culture today. Maybe we can think of those who model this behavior as the "deniers." They desire to deny people fleeing atrocity and unimaginable violence from finding safety and hope for the future. Those who clutch freedom from war and oppression tightly and deny others the opportunity to experience a night without fear of what the next day might bring are showing greed in its most ugly demonstration. This greed is entirely turned inward, which is Martin Luther's definition of sin.

We can make a difference by working for the church to be a place where the kingdom of God can be modeled and experienced by all.

God of all, stop us from being "deniers." Move us to embrace the stranger, the orphan child, the wanderer, allowing your love to show through us. Help us to deny ourselves and work for the common good of all. Amen.

Rodger Prois
Bishop Western Iowa Synod, ELCA
Master of Divinity , 1993

Luke 12:13-21 (NRSV)

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me."
14 But he said to him, "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?"
15 And he said to them, "Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions."
16 Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly.
17 And he thought to himself, "What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?'
18 Then he said, "I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.'
20 But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'
21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.