Bringing the Text to Life

...More... Luke 16:19-31

The world''s philosophy is a four-letter word: More. The church''s theology is also a four-letter word, but it often means more''s opposite: Love. Will the church be a force and a forum for love?

The problem with our world, our nation and our church can be summed up in one word: More. "More" has become, as Laurence Shames has put it, America's "unofficial national motto." We want more of everything: more fun, more money, more excitement, more love, more programs, more church members, more, more, more. "More is what Americans are used to, what we perceive as normal, here in the land of the escalation clause, the built-in increase. More is the way we think about 'success.'" And more is what America and the world is running out of.

The indecent discrepancy between the rich man's lifestyle and Lazarus' life-struggle was appalling. But for a long time Americans have considered themselves pretty much delivered from that kind of fearful inequality. That's why we have lumped nearly everyone into this country's great "middle class." Of course there have always been a few exceedingly rich individuals. And of course, any realistic person knows that a certain number of poor "will always...

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