The Decisions We Make About Finances - August, 2019
Nearly a century ago, the President of the United States was a New England Yankee named Calvin Coolidge. Mr. Coolidge was a man of extremely few words. At a dinner party, as the story goes, he was approached by a rather chatty lady, who had made a bet with a friend that she could get more than two words out of him. She told Coolidge of the bet. He replied, “You lose.” On another occasion, Coolidge and his wife had just left Sunday worship, when a friend stopped to talk with him. “What was the sermon about,” his friend inquired. “”Sin,” Coolidge responded. “Well, what did he say about it?” his friend persisted. “He was against it,” Coolidge said. Coolidge was known to have a look of unchanging disapproval on his face. When the writer Dorothy Parker was told he had died, she asked, “How could they tell?” The rest of the country was busily partying their way through the Roaring Twenties. Coolidge had a decidedly different approach to life.
As we wrap up the summer, with all of our traveling and getting away from it all, the message of Jesus in this month’s readings also takes a decidedly different tone, at least for normal middle class twenty-first century Americans. In the readings from Luke, Jesus talks about money. What did he say about it? In this section of the Gospels, it wouldn’t be too far off to say, “He was against it.”
More accurately, he taught about a decidedly different approach to this life, with his focus very much on the next.
What’s the lesson here? Bottom line, to use a term from finance, while there is nothing wrong with a good party and a comfortable life style, there is also something to be said for the decisions we make about the place of finances in our lives. If someone told a friend that we were Christians, would we want the response to be, “How could they tell?” Let that question guide us through our look at the Scriptures – and our lives – this last month of summer.
See you in church?