There are weeks that the readings for Sunday worship are confusing to work with. This past Sunday was one of those weeks. Jesus told a parable that was confusing, contradictory and just plain challenging. It has got me wondering.
A manager was caught squandering the master’s money, so was called in for an audit before losing his job. In anticipation of this confrontation, he talked to some of the people who owed the master something, thinking if he decreased their debt, they might take him in once he lost his job. You might expect that the master would be furious with the manager, but no. Instead he commended him for his shrewdness.
Puzzling. But Jesus usually turns things around. God’s priorities are seldom in line with human priorities. Is it possible that our expectation of what the master wants is mistaken? Perhaps the master is pleased that the manager has eased the debts of the others. Perhaps caring for the neighbor is the most important thing here. Clearly, the money is not.
Either way, Jesus is calling us to think about our role in the community, our priorities, our connection to our neighbor, and our connection to God.
No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Luke 16:13
God of love and community,
You have created me to live in community with all these people.
What were you thinking?
My neighbors, my friends, my roommates, my classmates and my family are all around me.
How do I love them, follow you, and not get lost myself?
What are you asking me to do?
Help me to see the ways I can serve you, and love my neighbor.
Show me what it means to be shrewd in ways that you intend for me.
Teach me to puzzle out your meaning, your call, your intent.