Proper 14 – Year C

Isaiah 1:1, 10-20; Psalm 50:1-8, 23-24; (or Genesis 15:1-6; Psalm 33:12-22); Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16; Luke 12:32-40

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.  Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” – Joseph Campbell

                What do we carry in our purses?  A little prestige?  A yearning for wealth?  Perhaps some resentment or envy or even hatred?  A pride that excludes others?  A couple fences to keep the wrong people out?  The things we carry in our emotional purses are what we treasure.  What are these purses?  Our purses are our hearts (Luke 12:33-34).  Sometimes the things we treasure tear apart our hearts, our fragile purses.  How could we possibly guard all our heavy luggage from an unexpected thief?  A healthy heart keeps pulsing out blood away from itself.  It can’t hold it all in, or it will burst.  If our goal in life is to have a big cache for ourselves, our hearts will wear out.  The paradox of wisdom is the more we give to others, the more we have of something more precious.  Maybe our hearts need to be broken to find out what is really worth valuing.  When we stumble into an abyss, by our own fault or not, we are finally empty of the garbage we thought we would rather hoard.  This is what Alcoholics Anonymous refers to as hitting bottom.  Then we can pray with no agenda.  When we pray long enough something will change.  We will be the richest people in the world, rich because God is pleased to give us the kingdom (Luke 12:32).  This is the unexpected hour (Luke 12:40) that God comes to us, in the midnight of our lives (Luke 12:38).


                Luke 12:35 says “be dressed for action.”  The Greek actually says “let your loins be girded.”  In other words, cover your reproductive organs so you are ready to act.  You can’t go out naked.  Jesus wanted us dressed for action, yet the paradox is that each of us must stand naked before God.


Heart heavy loaded

deeply with treasures worthless.

Stumble to value.