I taught this weekend at [REUNION] Back Bay on Luke 16. Which is, like, one of the easiest passages in scripture to preach on. Just kidding. This section of the Good News According to Luke includes: the parable of the shrewd manager (is Jesus telling us to use money to buy friends?), some statements about faithfulness/self-justification/forcing ones way in to the Kingdom/the law never passing away/divorce, and the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (with its interesting view of the afterlife). Light stuff.
The big idea, as best I can make out, is this: use everything at your disposal (including your financial resources) to invest in things that last.
Which gave me an opportunity to share one of my favorite stories: the story of the house I grew up in. The short version goes like this: my parents move the fam to Salinas to plant a church…a contractor friend tells them to find a piece of land and he will build a house on it…they find some land…he builds the house!
The pinnacle moment of the story takes place on May 4th, 1985 when 70+ people wearing bright yellow “Boutry’s Barn Raising” t-shirts come pouring out of a bus to frame, roof, and side the entire house in one day.
It’s a great story. This is what it looks like to leverage your time, talents, resources, money, skills, networks, etc for the Kingdom.
But it’s an even better story when you (I) think about this: for the last 27 years my parents have always treated their home as a gift. They call it the “house that friends built.” And they have hosted thousands of people for every imaginable reason: community groups, newcomer desserts and lunches, discipleship, helping people in need, family gatherings, wedding rehearsal dinner parties, my college friends, missionaries, and the list could go on and on and on.
I think this is what Jesus is getting at in Luke 16 (albeit in an interesting way). And so, the story of my parents house, alongside Luke 16, is an inspiration, but also a challenge: am I using everything I’ve been entrusted with for the Kingdom?