Luke 12:13-21 (NRSV)
Verse 13Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." Verse 14But he said to him, "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?" Verse 15And 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." Verse 16Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. Verse 17And he thought to himself, 'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' Verse 18Then 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. Verse 19And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' Verse 20But 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?' Verse 21So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."
When do we know that we have enough? My parents and grandparents survived the Great Depression, so I learned the saying, “waste not, want not,” from a young age. I learned to use things as long as possible, to take care of them, and to hang on to them in case I needed them when the next crisis came. Our culture also encourages us to stock up now, while prices are low (so we can buy more)! In addition to causing unnecessary worry about our future, we accumulate possessions until we sometimes even have to pay for more places to store them. Somewhere along the way we passed the point of having enough and lost our focus of what is really important.
This is what Jesus illustrates in the Parable of the Rich Fool. Through greed we idolize wealth, take our eyes off God and Jesus’ commandments to love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves.
God of abundance, you feed us every day. Help us trust that you are enough, and that in your hands we are safe to give of ourselves and feed a world hungry for food, water, love, and forgiveness. Amen.