by Bob Wickizer

The Stuff in the Attic
Bob Wickizer
Hosea 11:1-11; Psalm 107:1-9,43; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21

The wife of one of the wealthiest people in the US passed away this week. Her personal net worth made her the 68th wealthiest person in the world. She entered heaven with exactly the same possessions as my friend Gloria.

Gloria had a winning smile and a concern for everyone she met. I have seen Gloria dash in front of traffic to rescue turtles in the street. I have seen Gloria share the last thing she had to eat with a stranger. Gloria was homeless. From the combined ravages of diabetes and a rough life on the street from age eleven, Gloria's thought processes were not the same as middle class, healthy people. Some thought she was slow or just pain stupid but her theology was laser sharp.

"You can't take it with you" she reminded me one day. "Why should I try to have so many possessions? If I did, then I would just have to carry them around to the next place. Besides, doesn't God want us to share what we have and that way we are giving ourselves to God?" I stood there dumbfounded. A homeless person just summarized the teaching of Jesus in three clear sentences. More than talking about what Jesus taught, Gloria lived those teachings. She died before she was 45.

Most of us like to think of the teachings of Jesus in the Bible as cuddly, warm, comforting words about how God loves us. Most of us would imagine that if you did a word count you would find the word love or the theme of love was the center of Jesus' teachings. Most of us however would be wrong.

The words and teachings of Jesus about money and possessions outnumber his teachings on love by nearly ten to one because there is no point in trying to teach people about love when the primary focus of our love and attention concerns money and possessions. Jesus is concerned far more with the things we do and the things we value that separate us from the love of God than trying t ...

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