“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity” cries the teacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Why does he issue such a complaint? Because he realizes that all of his work, everything he has done, and accomplished will be left to those who come after – and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish.
Each of us will, someday make the same question. What is to become of all I have worked to obtain, or perfect, or achieve; what will happen to it at the time of my death? The answers made will vary, according to who asks, and certainly according the present or intrinsic value of the work or bequest. But the value in the mind of the receiver will always be in question; and the giver will be in need of none of it.
Paul in teaching the Christians in Collassae, talks of some of the Earthly attitudes that are possessed by the newly converted. Because they now live in Christ, they are advised to put aside those attitudes, such as fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed.
He also admonishes that we should be rid of anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive language. Clothe yourselves with a new self, renewed in the knowledge of the image of the creator, he advises; this, because Christ is all, and in all. If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above
In the Luke Gospel, a crowd has assembled around the Lord, and someone said to Jesus. “Teacher, tell my bother to divide the family inheritance with me.” Jesus told him he was not a judge or arbiter, and then said, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” He illustrated this by telling of a man who owned land that produced abundantly, and he had no place to store the crops. The man thought and said: “I will tear down my bans and build larger ones and there I will store all my gain.”
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? So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.
The Psalmist says: “We can never ransom ourselves, or deliver to God the price of our life; for the ransom of our life is so great we should never have enough to pay for it.” Amen
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to email@example.com.