The following is a modern retelling of Jesus’ Parable: The Rich Fool found in Luke 12:13-21.
Daughter: "Dad, tell my sister to give me her iPad!"
Father: You can’t ask that of me. How could I choose between the two of you? You need to be on your guard against coveting things that don’t belong to you. Life is not about the pursuit of money or possessions!
Honey, there was a girl just about your age who came from a poor churchgoing family. Her dad worked in a factory and her mom was a waitress at a diner. They didn’t have money to take her to the mall every Saturday. Unlike many of her classmates she couldn’t walk into Aeropostale or Hollister to buy anything. The times she did go to the mall, all she could do was walk into the store and try on clothes…and dream. What was her dream? She simply wanted to walk out of that store with a new sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. But, every time she would open up her eyes and look herself in the mirror, she would awake to the reality that the only store she was ever going to walk out of with any clothes was a Goodwill thrift store.
This poor girl had a great uncle who lived in California. He didn’t have a wife or any kids. He was a very wealthy man. Although she hardly ever saw him, she had become very special to him. He kept up with her and her family through her parents’ Facebook page. He knew they didn’t have money to buy her special things or to send her to college. He decided to do something to help her.
On her 13th birthday, he flew in for her party. It was just a simple gathering for her and her friends. Her parents couldn’t afford to have it at a fancy place so they settled for McDonald’s. She was embarrassed, but it was better than nothing! After she opened up all her gifts, her great uncle said he had a gift for her. It was just a card. Once she opened it, there was a slip of paper in it from a bank with small writing on it and lots of numbers. As she looked at it, she had no idea what it was. But, there was a note:
To my dearest niece,
Happy Birthday! Turning 13 is indeed a major milestone. As a teenager, you are well on your way to adulthood. I believe you have a bright future ahead of you. So, I want to help you get the right start in life. I decided to establish a trust fund for you. As of today, there is $1 million in it. I plan to add at least $100,000 a year in it until you turn 21. This trust ensures you will be able to go to a good college, travel abroad and have a beautiful wedding. I don’t want you to ever worry about money ever again.
Your Loving Uncle
As you can imagine, this girl was shocked. In one moment, she’d gone from rags to riches. Sadly, her newfound wealth changed her almost overnight. Her relationship with her parents became strained. She began to think she was too good for them. One night as she sat in her bedroom, she began to imagine all the things that she could buy and all the places she could go. She said to herself: “My closet is too small to fit all my new clothes. I am going to pay for someone to tear out my closet and the room across the hall so I can have a bedroom suitable for me. I am going to make a walk-in closet so I can fit all my stuff in it. Then, I am kick back and enjoy life. I don’t have to worry about school, church or anything for that matter. I am set for the rest of my life!”
Suddenly, God Himself spoke to the girl as she sat in her bedroom: “You foolish little rich girl, don’t you know that tonight your very life will be demanded of you? What will come of all your money and all your stuff now?”
Here’s the moral of the story…This is what happens to the person who lives only for themself and is not rich toward God.
This article is an excerpt from this Sunday's sermon in Jesus' Parable: The Foolish Rich Man in Luke 12:13-21. All are welcome to join us for worship this Sunday at 10:30 am. Lighthouse Community Baptist Church is located at 22 Pequot Trail in Pawcatuck.