The Holy Gospel: September 22, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 16:1-13

Meditation: “Do What You Can”

Okay, I admit it–I still wrestle with Jesus’ use of dishonesty to illustrate a Kingdom principle.  But the point he makes is clear: do what you can do in the maintenance and well-being of your spiritual life.

The manager had authority to negotiate bills. Nothing new about that.  I have had managers do this with me over the years. For example, I can call a credit card company, and the person on the phone can lower my rate. 

The lesson that rises to the surface in today’s passage is that we must do what we can to improve our lives.  It is Jesus’ version of what Paul later wrote,”Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

Passivity is no virtue, whether it occurs in dishonest business practice or virtuous discipleship formation.  Passivity creates a vacuum, and emptiness cannot produce anything good.

So, Jesus said, if a dishonest manager can do what he can to improve his lot, we should do what we can to improve our relationship with God.  And this begins in the little things.  We say “the devil is in the details,” but so is God.  Character is formed in the little things–the strength of a single link determines the strength of the entire chain.

So, Jesus tells us to do what we can do to strengthen the smallest parts of our lives, so that the larger things will be strengthened as well.  We are all “managers” of something.  We are to use that authority to cultivate righteousness.

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books.
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One Response to The Holy Gospel: September 22, 2013 (Year C)

  1. Marys Gmail says:

    Thanks, Steve! Hope your trip continues to go well Liked your post I’ve been doing homework for next week I’m leading worship 9/29 next week in S Orlando & putting some thoughts together Look forward to reading your thoughts for next week Safe travels Hi to Jeannie M

    Mel Jacob

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