Jesus said, ‘Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 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.’
(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
Luke in his Gospel places an emphasis on outsiders - on the poor, widows, and on the dispossessed (Luke 1.51-53, and Luke 6.20). We see in the parables that only he includes, that he looks at the reign of God reversing the status of the rich and the poor, as in the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16.19-31). In 'The Acts of the Apostles', his follow-up work, he also stresses the way things in God's Kingdom will be radically different.
We will no longer be able to serve two masters. The Kingdom of God means giving up commitments that do not share His values. In Acts the Christian community is one where disciples share "all things in common" giving "to all, as any had need" (Acts 2.44-45). Luke stresses that money and wealth belong to God, and are to be used for His Kingdom, not just for ourselves.
If we cannot totally live by these rules (and join a monastery!) we can begin to reshape our lives to serve God. We can try living a simpler life to bring about God's Kingdom of love, and by helping those around us. We can ask questions like "What can I give away?" or "Who might like to take away my windfall apples" or "What can I do to truly help someone else?" Each of these actions serves God!
teach us to serve others
and not ourselves.
Teach us to realise
that You call us to care
for each other,
and in doing so
that we are serving You.