Bringing the Text to Life

The Necessary Book Luke 16:1-13

Spiritual well-being is the ultimate "necessary" of life.

In the not-so-distant past, modest men and polite women might find themselves needing to be excused from the family by pleading a trip to "the necessary," or even "the nessie." A "necessary," of course, was a discreet reference to the outhouse, the outdoor receptacle for the Sears and Roebuck catalog. In earlier days, when the term "necessary" appeared on a road sign, it served as a code-word for travelers, letting them know that the next town was the last one capable of meeting all their basic necessities for perhaps many, many miles. Thus the town was a stop "necessary" for the well-being, even survival, of the travelers. (Some towns in Pennsylvania and Virginia still have "Necessary" in their names.)

Until quite recently, one could buy at a local stationery supply store a volume entitled "The Necessary Book." Indeed a thoughtful, responsible provider would not neglect keeping his or her "Necessary Book" up-to-date and easily accessible. The Necessary Book was a volume containing...

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