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" ,,,the rich he has sent empty away. " Luke 1:53
Martin Luther once observed, "Riches are the least worthy gifts which God can give a man. What are they to God's Word, to bodily gifts: such as beauty and health; or to the gifts of the mind, such as understanding, skill and wisdom? Or what are they compared to spiritual treasures? Yet men work for wealth day and night, and take no rest. Therefore God commonly gives riches to foolish people, to whom He gives nothing else!"
The children of a certain family, during a period of prosperity, were constantly left in the nursery in the care of servants. As time went on, and circumstances changed, the servants had to be let go, and the parents once again had to care for their little ones. One evening when the father returned home after a day filled with business worries, his little girl climbed up on his lap and, reaching her soft, childish arms around his neck, said, "Daddy, don't get rich again. You didn't come into our rooms when you were rich; but now we can be around you and get on your knee and kiss you. Please, please, don't get rich again, Daddy!" The father suddenly realized how empty his life had been when he was busy making money but neglecting his family. He saw how he had actually been squandering his God-given time which should have been devoted to higher goals, and lasting values.
Some years ago, I read that in Bogota, Columbia, a tame pigeon swallowed a diamond and several emeralds worth $40,000 and flew away. The news item stated that the children of a millionaire had been playing with the stones when the bird snatched them. What a parable on wealth that is gathered at the expense of spiritual, mortal and personal values. Such riches soon "take wings and fly away." Jesus says that few rich men reach the kingdom. Completely occupied with the affairs of this world, neglecting the things of the soul, they are "sent empty away" when their time to leave this earth arrives. Let's make sure we know where our true riches lie.
Louis Abel is pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Chiefland.