Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Today’s text

Luke 16:1-6, 8

The Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me in their homes.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take you bill, sit quickly, and make it fifty.’ … And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly ….”


Tell me, Jesus, what is the point of comparison here? My mind reels and collapses upon itself in a ruined heap. Shall I look at the dishonest manager or at the master—or both? But then the message moves in such different ways that comprehension escapes me.

The manager is a scoundrel, but he acts with energy and passion when crisis comes. Do you then tell me to act as decisively in response to your words, your presence, your kingdom coming to upset the tidiness of my life?

Or do I look at the master who not only refuses to punish but praises the scoundrel--and imagine that normal standards of justice and order are abolished in your kingdom? I know and believe this, but your words so jar and disorient me that I am left wondering: Is there is anything in my life that must not come unhinged and unglued if I am to belong to you, once and for all, fully and whole?

Or is this your challenge and call to my soul? Must I surrender all that I am, my possessions, my will—my understanding of how life is? Is this strange tale, so resistant to common explanations, a call to acknowledge that you are God and I am not, and that I really know and understand nothing?

In your words, Jesus, I hear your holy prerogative to define reality—to shape who and what I am to be—though I may understand nothing of it and remain utterly in the dark about what you are doing and where you are leading. If so, grant me such faith to surrender all to you, knowing that it is your grace that leads even when all I see contradicts it.

Awaken in me a faith willing to endure the darkness of all understanding.

Pr. David L. Miller

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