Rev Sheila Cameron’s sermon on 18 September – at the end of a week of mourning, a week of transition, a week of contrasts – was on a notoriously difficult gospel: Luke 16:1–13 tells the parable of the dishonest manager, or Unjust Steward in the old translation. The sermon ended …
There’s no denying that the world we inhabit today is a world in crisis. In our relationship with God’s creation, we have gone too far down the road of exploiting for profit the gifts we have been given, because we have thought of natural resources as infinite. We have regarded them as gifts to be exploited as ruthlessly (or as shrewdly) as we can for our own material advantage. Our leaders are tempted to use them for political advantage, to win support and cling to power while appearing to help the less well off. We now know that these resources are not infinite, that the earth is fragile and we need to change our ways urgently if we are to enjoy our earthly home as God intended. Christians have always cherished simplicity as a spiritual ideal; we know that the pursuit of luxury has not brought us any closer to God’s kingdom.
In the divine economy, the infinite resources, the true riches of love and mercy are distributed freely and equally to all whose disposition is towards God, but human self-interest has turned the world of business into a world of injustice. For Luke, money and business are the substance of life and are very important, but what is expected of us first is acknowledgement of God as our creator and provider, then fairness in our dealings one with another. As we ask God this week to support our new King, may we also pray for the realisation on earth of God’s kingdom of justice, peace and eternal providence. Amen.
Do read the whole of Sheila’s sermon at this link.
The image was used by Dr Paul Ellis to ilustrate his blog “The Parable of the Shrewd Manager”.