5Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ 6So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?’ Hebrews 13:5-6
Over the weekend I read economists’ dire predictions for 2010. They speculated about unemployment, the decline of the dollar, rising health care costs, and other dismal possibilities. As I read, I thought of the wag who observed that “an economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.”
I turn from the prognostications about hard times ahead and focus on God’s word to us today. Today’s scripture text addresses Hebrew Christians of the first century who are facing hard times. The Spirit reminds them that in the days ahead it will be a matter of where they put their trust — will they put their trust in God, or in money?
Knowing their tendency, (as well as ours), to grasp more frantically for money as times get bad, the Spirit counsels, “Keep your lives free from the love of money.” Be careful here, the Spirit urges, for true contentment has nothing to do with how much money we have. Rather, contentment comes in knowing that God is always with us.
God’s promise to be with his people is then emphasized with a quote from Deuteronomy 31:6, 8: “For he,” that is God, “He has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.” In the quote, the Lord is promising the Israelites that he will go with them and support them in their journey to the Promised Land. And now God promises Christians to go with us and support us in our journey to glory. The Lord says that he will “never’ leave us or forsake us. And never is a long, long time.
Yet knowing that our faith can waver, the Spirit adds yet another promise by quoting Psalm 118:6: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me? Notice the psalmist says that “the Lord is my helper,” not “will be” or “has been” but he “is my helper” right now, here, today, in whatever it is I am facing! Whatever my problem, whatever my need, right now he is my helper. Yes, he is “my” helper. The Lord God of the universe is in a special relationship with all who look to him. We are special to him. We’re part of his family and he will stand with us throughout life’s journey.
The only sure thing in the days ahead is God’s promise to be with us and be our helper. If we will get hold of that promise it will change our lives. We will live fearlessly in the face of life’s uncertainties and trials.
Grace and peace,
CLASSES RESUME AT THE FRANCISCAN RENEWAL CENTER
Starting January 5, 11:00 a.m. – Noon
Garces Room in Piper Hall
The reason that people most often give to pollsters for not going to church is that they find it “boring.” How far removed this boredom is from the awe and wonder and mystery that nourish the biblical faith. Theology and doctrine separated from the sheer mystery of God are lifeless and dull. In this series we will search out biblical passages and practices for restoring wonder and worship to our lives and service.
STORIES OF THE KINGDOM
Starting January 5, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Garces Room in Piper Hall
Jesus loved to tell stories. They were his favorite method of teaching. And his stories always packed a surprise at the end! In this series we will explore the background of Jesus’ ancient Middle Eastern world and culture to better understand his stories. Each week we will take the role of foreigners traveling to a distant time and land to cast light on his teachings about life and the Kingdom of God.