Jesus lived in a culture that believed that God showered riches on the righteous, and - conversely - poverty was a sign of God’s displeasure. Luke records a moment when Jesus opposes this idea: the crowd is stunned to hear the rabbi say “how hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God” (Lk 18:24). They would have been thinking – “Surely their riches are a sign of God favour… a guarantee of their membership of God’s realm”. Jesus repeatedly hammers the message home that God has a particular compassion for the poor, the helpless, and the marginalized. 
Sadly there are many who have not heard this. There are Christian teachers who teach that prosperity is guaranteed for those who follow Jesus; that the preachers of Jesus are to enjoy luxury and comfort; and those who hear their message will have treasure from God if only they tithe their income. This “name it and claim it” theology is the ultimate blasphemy: it turns God into a service provider – and humanity into greedy consumers of God’s provision. Only when we recognize out status as stewards of this earth will we discover the call of God to use our possessions to benefit all of creation.
For today: ask how you can bless someone who has a greater need than you.
Third Sunday after Trinity33 Christian Maturity
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 207.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.