Friday, July 30, 2010

Revisiting "Stuff"

Working on my sermon for Sunday. It's Proper 13C -- AKA lessons about "stuff." And so I revisited the sermon I wrote the last time these lessons rolled around ... 2007 ... and although I'm preaching a whole different sermon on Sunday, I thought the 2007 version was worth revisiting.

So there's the link ... and here are some fun facts to know and tell about Scripture & Stuff:

“It is human nature always to want a little more,” writes psychologist Timothy Miller. “People spend their lives honestly believing that they have ALMOST enough of whatever they want. Just a little more will put them over the top – and then they will be contented forever.”

That pursuit of "more" is something Jesus talked about over and over and OVER again … calling us to live lives faithful to God … not in pursuit of possessions that ultimately end up owning US. In fact, in the stories of Jesus preserved for us in Scripture, Jesus talked about the role of possessions and giving – about stuff -- more than ANY other single theme … WAY more.

Check this out: a tally of how many times Jesus talked about what in the gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:

Believing … 272. Prayer … 371. Love … 714. Possessions (AKA “stuff”) and Giving … are you ready? … 2172.

Two thousand one hundred and seventy two. It’s not even close. (And just for the record the number of times Jesus talked about sexuality is zero, zip, nada, never, not once.) Instead he talked about “stuff” 2172 times … because Jesus KNEW that letting go of the stuff that owns us rather than serves us is a crucial step in creating those trusting relationshps we’ve been designed to seek: with God and with each other.

So there you have it. Food for thought on the Friday before the Tenth Sunday After Pentecost 2010.

And now I think I'm going to go home and clean out a closet and get rid of some "stuff."

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