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Friday, September 16, 2016

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The last verses of this passage seem like they were tacked on as an after-thought. How exactly they connect to the preceding parable may be a bit unclear, but their truth is not. The Message translation of this passage puts it this way "No worker can serve two bosses...You can't serve both God and the bank." Martin Luther in his explanation of the First Commandment in the Large Catechism said "A god is that to which we look for all good and where we turn for help in every time of need...whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God." Bob Dylan echoed this truth in his song "You're gonna have to serve somebody."

Money, security, work, power, country, family, honor, etc.--so many things compete for our attention and our trust. May the Spirit so work in our lives that we may be found faithful in things both big and small and recognize the "true riches" in our lives.

Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life. Teach us to put our trust in you alone and look to you for every good thing. Amen.

Sandy Van Zyl, '88
ELCA Pastor serving United Congregational Church, Butte, Mont.

Luke 16:1-13 (NRSV)

1 Then Jesus said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property.
2 So he summoned him and said to him, "What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.'
3 Then the manager said to himself, "What will I do, now that my master is taking the position 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 dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.'
5 So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, "How much do you owe my master?'
6 He answered, "A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, "Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.'
7 Then he asked another, "And how much do you owe?' He replied, "A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, "Take your bill and make it eighty.'
8 And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.
9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
10 "Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.
11 If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?
13 No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

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