Jesus said, '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.'
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him. So he said to them, 'You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.'
(Church in Wales Lectionary, from the Revised Standard Version)
I once worked for two men in a new RAF unit and until it got going I was asked if I would work for two bosses. They both had separate offices, with mine squeezed between their two rooms. I had two separate trays for each of them, two for outgoing and two for incoming mail.
One boss would rush in with a pile of work and dump it in his tray, and then disappear. The other rarely gave me anything complicated, and always smiled. The other one grunted and demanded the finished work ten minutes later with never a thank you. Needless to say this arrangement wasn't satisfactory, and I soon went back to working for one person!
In the story of the two masters in Luke's gospel, Jesus is effectively saying we cannot serve God and the world! If you're not sure what he means ask yourself this: "What would I sacrifice to have lots of money - my time/my loved ones/my car - or what?" Then ask yourself: "Would I sacrifice these for God?"
Most of us, if we are truly honest, would find it difficult to sacrifice these things for God, and we need to ask his help to sit lighter to the world, and remember the story of the two masters!
Lord our God,
it is only in times like this
that we see what is important in our lives:
that health, loved ones, food and shelter
are what really matter.
It is only now that we can see
the hardship around us.
Help us to put our resources
to good use:
to help those in great need,
and to know that by doing so
we are serving You.