In today’s Gospel(11/19/2017), we hear the parable of The Rich Fool. In order to understand the parable that we encounter today, it is important to understand the context in which Christ is telling this parable.
Moments before Christ told this story, there was a man in the crowd, who recognized Jesus’ authority, but misunderstood his message and underestimated his wisdom. The man commands Jesus to order his brother to split his inheritance with him. To which Christ responds saying,
“[A man’s] life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” It is this conversation that prompts the story that we heard from the Gospel today.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth… everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that HE had made, and behold, it was very good.
By Creating man in His image God created us to be His advocate on earth, we are His conduit in which His work can be done through us. This has been done so that we may minister to, and take care of all of creation.
We are not only called to be stewards of creation in this manner, but God has also called us to be co-creators with Him. Co-creators in agriculture, co-creators in technology, co-creators in life itself, through our children. We sacrifice to create, we labor to create, we spend our time and talent to create. We represent God in everything we do because He created us to be in the image of God.
Why is this important?
It is God who created everything before us. Therefore as God’s stewards of the earth, we are called to give everything back to God. By doing that, we first give thanks for everything we have. Everything we have belongs to God, we have been given these possessions, so that we can take it and multiply God’s grace through the world. And through God’s Grace we become transformed.
Let us return now to today's gospel, when the rich man saw all that he had, the first thing he said was, "I have too much, let me build larger store houses;" The rich man in the story worked hard to yield such a large crop, and chose to do nothing with it.
He did not acknowledge God’s grace or blessing, he did not offer thanks, he instead chose to build monuments to himself, he fantasizes of idols in his own name that contain all of his worth, his life’s work. Only to face judgment and God empty handed in heaven.
Where do we store our treasures? Do we put them on display for all to see, or do we transform our treasures with God’s grace, and have it sanctified by the holy spirit so that we may prepare ourselves a place in heaven among those who have been crowned with Glory.
It is not a sin to celebrate in our success, but it is what you do with your success that determines whether our actions are sanctified by God, or lead us unto our own condemnation. Do we construct idols to ourselves, or do we serve in the name of Christ.
This past Wednesday we began the 40 day Nativity fast, we have started our journey to Bethlehem alongside the Theotokos, and Joseph. We have begun our journey towards the cave where Christ will be born, We have set aside this time, so that we can receive the King of Glory into our hearts; in a similar manner to which we prepare for His death and resurrection.
This coming Tuesday we begin to chant the hymns of Christmas in the Orthros Service, “Christ is Born! Glorify Him!” “The creator has become like the created.” Christ has fully sanctified humanity by condescending to the flesh just as we are. Just as Clement of Alexandria wrote. “God became like man so that man could become like God”
“Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,”
let us take up our treasures to serve one another, and identify Christ in all of creation as we journey to the manger to worship the Christ Child this Christmas season.