All Are Welcome!
9:30 Coffee & Treats
10:50 Sunday School
P.O. Box 35,
36055 213th Street
Hillman, MN 56338
Pastor Stephen Olson
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
How To Find Us:
Immanuel Lutheran Church of Hillman is located at the intersection of County Hwy 27 and County Hwy 47. It is one mile west of County 8.
Sunday School began on September 15. All youth from Kindergarten to 6th grade are welcome. Sunday school students are dismissed for Sunday School after the Prayer of the Day. For more information.
Please call Immanuel at 320-277-3939 or Lacey at 320-232-5439.
13 One of the multitude said to [Jesus], “Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18And 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. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21So is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:13-21 RSV)
It’s stewardship time again . . . This is the time churches look at their needs, prepare budgets for the upcoming year, and encourage their members to support I found an article on CNN’s website that captured my interest. It was written by Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate. Both authors are affiliated with the Ayn Rand Center. Brook also writes for Forbes magazine. Their article was entitled ‘Our Moral Code is Out of Date.’ Two quotes will give you a flavor of the article:
Ask someone on the street to name a moral hero; . . . he will likely name Jesus Christ or Mother Theresa. No one would dream of naming Galileo, Darwin, Thomas Edison, or John D. Rockefeller. Yet we should . . . It is they, not the Mother Tereseas of the world, that we should strive to be like and teach our kids the same.
. . . If morality is a guide in the quest to achieve your own happiness by creating the values of mind and body that make a successful life, then morality is about personal profit, not its renunciation.
While one might not agree with Brook and Ghate, they do raise a compelling issue. What values do we have? How are they shaped? What does this say about us and the society we live in? Is there more to life than ‘personal profit’ and our market/consumption driven world that serve as the foundation for our values? Jesus would certainly answer these questions differently . . . And hopefully, so would those who follow him.
And that, I think, was what Jesus recognized when one of the crowd asked him for assistance in procuring an inheritance. The man said to him, ‘Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.’ But Jesus saw something far deeper . . . something far more dangerous in the man's request. The issue was not an inheritance, but ultimate allegiance. Money was the ordering principal in the young man's life. It was both the young man's and his brother's sole source of security. To illustrate his point, he told the Parable of the Rich Fool.
The parable is about a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He pondered the question of what to do with his overabundance. In the end, he decided to build larger barns to hold his bounty. With his security assured, the Rich Fool looked forward to a life of ease and enjoyment. But tragically, he died that night.
What makes this parable so ironic is that the man thought that he had prepared adequately for his ultimate security; but had not. He is rightly called a fool because he thought that he had control over his own destiny . . . He thought that his wealth would be sufficient. But when death came, it proved to be useless. Like we've all said so many times, ‘You can't take it with you.'
Jesus makes two very important points in this parable. First, the issue for most human beings is who or what will be god in our lives. Whether we admit it or not, we are anxious about the future. Sin springs out of our anxiety about the future. This anxiety, I think, is part of being human. So we plan, and sometimes, even scheme to make that future secure. The rich man in the parable built larger barns to hold his crop . . . Larger barns to guarantee his independence . . . Larger barns so that he would never have to rely on anyone but himself in the future.
Second, life is not measured in terms of money and possessions; but rather, in terms of one's relationship with God. What we have and what we want cannot give life. God alone can. We must make a distinction between earthly treasures and eternal treasures. In one, there is security; in the other, there is none. Moths, rust, market fluctuations, stock market crashes, drought, and poor commodity prices make the treasure of this world transitory, at best. ‘Getting’ and ‘preserving’ cannot be a Christian’s only endeavor in life.
So what really determines our values . . . the world or God? I believe that is the fundamental question we all must answer.
In Christ ☩