Scripture: Luke 12:13-21
At the end of each of his crusades Billy Graham famously asked the same question, ‘If you died tonight, do you know if you are going to heaven or hell?” He asked that question to encourage everyone in the audience to make a decision to follow Christ.
Respectfully, I believe Rev. Graham ended with the wrong question.
In the gospel of Luke, two brothers approach Jesus asking him to settle a dispute between them about their inheritance. He refused. Instead he tells a story about a very rich man whose wealth increases exponentially after a banner harvest. In response, he scrambles to build bigger barns to accommodate his windfall and prepares to live happily ever after enjoying himself. Then he dies. And God says to him, ‘You Fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. Now who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
I think Jesus wants our community to be based on his question, not Billy Graham’s. Our life together isn’t about where we are going to go after we die–that’s settled. We are eternally saved by the triumphant love of Christ. This leaves us free to pour all of our energy into Jesus’ question. What kind of legacy are we going to leave, in this world God so loved? How do we stop storing up for ourselves what we can never keep and start joyfully devoting all we have to the new creation God is unleashing in our midst, right here, right now?
I’m excited to worship with you this Sunday. And I’m very excited about the gathering that will follow immediately after. We have an opportunity to make a significant decision about the kind of legacy we will leave in our community. I am so grateful we get the chance to be loved by God, to love one another and to build part of the Kingdom of God, right here in our neighborhood.
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