Reflections on [yet another] sermon on the guy who built bigger barns to store his bumper crop and other goodies.

Text: Luke 12: 13-21 (See the end of the post for the full passage.)


John, I did NOT take notes. Didn’t have to. You did a good job and the new mic placement helps a lot.
However, reflecting later on all the sermons I’ve heard on that gospel passage, I realized no one has ever gone beyond the micro to even mention a contemporary repercussion of storing up treasure. Sermons tend to focus on individual behavior, which is important, but ignore the macro – the environment influencing that behavior.
But we live within an economic structure that requires a certain amount of individual hoarding because there is no place within that structure for common (or public) good. I received publicly paid cancer treatment ONLY because I had a specific type that got emergency Medicaid. Had I had a different cancer, I’d be dead now and all people would say is I should have had insurance. On zero cash income, that’s a mean feat. And if I had had insurance, the copays would have bankrupted me. And “insurance” (Ponzi is a more accurate appellation) companies, which post impressive profits and screw over both medical practices and their employees, would have hounded me until I was paid up.
I am mindful of and grateful for that “emergency” program. But I also feel the terrible injustice that I got help denied others. I seriously considered refusing Medicaid for that reason.
I would love to hear someone take capitalism to task, because capitalism is predicated on accumulation of wealth without limit or social accountability. And capitalism is an economic topic, not a political one, evidence the contrary notwithstanding, so it’s fair game.
So, you see? Even when I don’t take notes, I’m paying attention.


[The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”]

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