Prayer: Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer -- three in one and one in three. Each day You sustain us as we live our lives in You. Each day You redeem us when we do wrong. Each day You show us more of Your new creation. May we live this day in joy and praise. Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit now and forever more. Amen.
Read Luke 16: 1 - 9
this is one parable that Jesus told to the disciples that must have left the disciples scratching their heads and say, "Huh? What did Jesus mean by telling this parable?"
The parable is about a manager who is in the process of being fired because the manager is wasteful and lazy and had been using the stores good for his own personal use. The boss calls the manager into his office and asks him for a complete audit of his financial records. The manager hands over the financial records all the while coming up with a scheme to keep him with money in the bank. The manager goes to people who were still in debt to his boss and asks each how much they still owed the boss. Each of the people are then asked by the manager to pay a reduced bill. the boss is then thoroughly impressed with his manager. the boss is even impressed with the manager's shifty style of business. And why? Because the manager knew how to look after himself when faced with unemployment.
But what does this have to do with us today? Is Jesus telling the disciples and us that we must be shifty in our business dealings and only look after ourselves? Nope, not at all. Jesus is telling this parable for two reasons. First is do not become complacent with your life in Christ. Do not just slide by calling yourself a Christian and not working at maturing one's faith. Do not only look after yourself. Remember that Christ calls us to be a servant. second is to take very adversity and make a creative positive change.
In Canada, all Churches and non-profit organizations who hold charity status are asked each year to send in an information return to Revenue Canada Charities Directorate. One of the tings our National Denomination asks is that each Church's financial records are audited. An audit is a simple step in keeping the Church finances open for all to see and view. And as a church and a charity, our finances must always be open for all to see and view. Yet, how many Churches do not audit their financial records? Or have two volunteers scrutinize the Church financial records? How many Churches do not state the wages and stipends of all ministry workers? Is this similar to the shifty manager? Are churches only looking after themselves and not remembering to be a servant to all? Something to think about.
Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, You have given to us Your servants grace and mercy. May we take grace and mercy into the workings of the Church this day so that the community can see our Church is a place of openness and love. Holy Holy Holy God, Holy Holy Holy Christ, Holy Holy Holy Spirit -- three in one and one in three to whome we live in praise and glory. Amen.