Due to inclement weather, all daytime in-person programs have been canceled for Thursday, Feb. 9 at each of our locations and the cafe and bookstore at the Leawood location are closed until 5 pm. Evening programs will be held, as scheduled.
There is no 5 pm evening worship at the Leawood location.
19 “Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. 20 Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. 21 Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how terrible that darkness will be! 24 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.25 “Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? 27 Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. 29 But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. 30 If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, won’t God do much more for you, you people of weak faith? 31 Therefore, don’t worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ 32 Gentiles long for all these things. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus’ teaching echoed the ancient Hebrew sages’ wisdom: eagerly amassing this world’s “treasures” does not produce a “secure” life (cf. Proverbs 14:22, 21:20). Sadly, many religious leaders in Jesus’ day (and since) overlooked that part of their faith. Jesus also made the deeply practical yet often ignored point (verse 27) that worry doesn’t actually solve problems or make our lives any longer or better. Jesus’ point wasn’t just spiritual “fluff”–there is research * that validates it.
Lord Jesus, you knew a cross waited for you, yet remarkably you spoke of peace, of not worrying. Fill me with your trusting peace in a broken world. Amen.
You get Jesus talking about money, and he can be a bit overdramatic, right? I mean seriously–“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy…” Am I the only one that pictures Mothra when you hear this? Do we need to be that paranoid about moths and vermin? Sure, we once had a squirrel chew her way through our siding and into our drywall, but that was an easy (though slightly costly) fix.
Or what about: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” So in order to love God, we have to hate money? Is that right? The last time I came across someone who actually hated money was… well, never. If this is the case, we’re all in trouble.
What’s Jesus really trying to say about money, then? I’m wondering if his modern version of a parable would look something like this: “Consider a can of hairspray. It’s great for keeping your style in place, your ponytail up, or your curls from falling. Nobody thinks a thing about it being a dangerous product, right? As long as you keep it out of your eyes and try not to ingest it (as if you’d like the taste), you should be perfectly safe for daily use. Hairspray isn’t generally something we keep in a locked cabinet. But each can of hairspray comes with a label that says something like: CAUTION Highly flammable. Because while hairspray is great to use under normal circumstances, it can easily turn into a blowtorch when mixed with fire. Hairspray is highly flammable.”
To break down the parable, when we talk about money, we have to know that it is also, figuratively speaking, highly flammable. If we think of money as hairspray, consider how our sin and selfish desires are the fire. When we rack up mounds of credit card debt, we’re spraying by the flame. When we constantly want more and more money, we’re spraying by the flame. When we would sacrifice our integrity just to get a little more dough, we’re spraying by the flame. When we won’t give back to God, we’re spraying by the flame.
Is having money a sin? I don’t think so. Having money, in and of itself, isn’t a problem. It’s perfectly safe to have when we are living below our means, when we’re giving it to serve God’s purpose, or when we’re saving for the future. You don’t often see money causing issues under these circumstances. In fact, having money to give away can be quite the blessing!
But at the same time, we should picture money with a warning label that says: CAUTION Highly flammable. Because when you get money next to your desires for this world, you’re more than likely to get burned.
* Click here to read an article by Don Joseph Goewey about the value of eliminating worry.
** Wright, N.T., Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15 (The New Testament for Everyone) (pp. 66-67). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.