Saturday, August 4, 2007

What to do with a bumper crop?

Bales of freshly harvested cotton
each of which could fit in a tractor-trailer
Colquitt County, Georgia, 2006
Photo by Linda McCloud+

Our Gospel reading for tomorrow (Luke 12:13-21) goes like this:

Someone in the crowd said to him [Jesus], "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." But he said to him, "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?" And he said to them, "Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions."

Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, "What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops" Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' 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."

Among other things in this text we discover that two people had not made a will. Apparently the man who came to Jesus asking for legal assistance was the victim of his father's neglect to make a will. And then the unsuspecting farmer who was about to die was thinking only of himself and had to be asked, "And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?"

On page 445 of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, we find this at the end of the section “Thanksgiving for a Child”:

The Minister of the Congregation is directed to instruct the people, from time to time, about the duty of Christian parents to make prudent provision for the well-being of their families, and of all persons to make wills, while they are in health, arranging for the disposal of their temporal goods, not neglecting, if they are able, to leave bequests for religious and charitable users.

I have now discharged one of my obligations to you, and trust me on this one -- your heirs do not want you to die without a will. But the best legacy we can leave to our heirs is that we were rich toward God. If we are rich toward God we will have peace in our own hearts. If we start there, good things will flow out of our lives like living waters on a parched land. Who could leave behind a better legacy than that?

In peace,

The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

No comments: