Pentecost + 22 - Year A
Ahh, sweet investment. Out in the world one person’s gain seems to be another’s loss. It is good to know that a person with wealth is willing to commit it into another’s care. Even further, it is so sweet that 2 out of 3 double their original holding. Wise beyond belief? Willing to risk a charge of usury? Lucky? Predestined?
Depending on a time frame for return, the un-regulated derivatives of that day may not have crashed yet, but did so right after the story. Whatever economic bubble or larger debt may have come between their eventual effects and not turn 5 or 2 units of wealth into 0 or some other negative return, did not so come.
More to the point than again pointing out the consequences of not following the prescribed way, is a vision of G*D as “harsh”. If you are going to get it in the neck anyway, why put yourself out? There may be a correlation between an envisioning of a harsh G*D and following a restricted life.
There are those who see a harsh G*D and claim that it motivates them to find ways to not be cast out. They, of course, see themselves ending up with 11 units of economic wealth where they began with zero. That may work for them in the short-run. However, to claim that one is protected and will always win because they have backed the right G*D, will eventually be shown for the forced and failed joy it claims. Eventually we lose our early edge and begin to err.
A basic question here is whether property is only good for leveraging more property or if it has a relational component that does not pit one person or group against another. It may even be that we need to bring some other parts of the Bible to bear to find even the two exemplars here failed to redistribute the wealth available to them.
This is all leading up to the story of sheep and goats and another division between people. How does this story play out in light of the one coming two weeks hence?
After another church year, is this harsh casting into outer darkness the best we can do? Is the goal of acquisition the best we can do? Is this the image of G*D that we are to imitate?
If this is the culmination of year’s worth of work, it is no wonder we need another Advent. Start now and avoid the rush!