This week at Capitol Hill Friends, we looked at Luke 12:13-34, where Jesus lays out some of his radical teaching about money. He tells the story of the rich fool who stored up all kinds of riches for himself, not caring for the needs of others or thinking beyond his personal comfort. Jesus reveals that the God Movement has nothing to do with accumulation or self-protection. Instead, we should take our cue from the ravens and the flowers: These creatures don’t have bank accounts or pensions, but God provides for them and cares for their needs. If God takes such good care of the birds and the grass, how much more is he going to take care of us, his human children?
In case there was any confusion, Jesus concludes with this startling bit of encouragement:
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart also be.
OK, Jesus! I could get on board with the whole no hording thing, and I could embrace the whole birds and grass thing as a nice metaphor about trusting God to provide. But what’s this about selling my possessions and giving to the poor? And what kind of crazy are you talking about heavenly bank accounts? You don’t expect me to take this literally, do you?