Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Greedy Night

Here's are my notes and order of worship from tonight -- topic: The sin of GREED.

Click on the colored words for links and multimedia.
In my welcome and introduction, I went to the cross and took up the yellow stained cloth that symbolizes greed.  Yellow like gold.  I mentioned how Greed makes us look good, but how dangerous it is, referring to the legend of Midas, who turned everything to gold by his touch, including turning his daughter to unfeeling metal.  How much are we willing to give up for our greed, to get more and more "stuff" for ourselves?
Hymn “Beneath the Cross of Jesus

First Chronicles 29:10-13
Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, forever and ever.
Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
Riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might; and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all.
And now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your glorious name.
Hymn #104 “In the Cross of Christ I Glory

OFFERING - As a sign that all belongs to God, we release a portion of what God has first given to us.

Luke 12
13 Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
22 He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


We played the first part of
Pink Floyd's 1974 music video "Money."

Money, get away.
Get a good job with more pay and your O.K.
Money, it's a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream.
Think I'll buy me a football team.
Money get back.
I'm all right Jack… Keep your hands off my stack.

We then cut the video and just played the video with no audio as I shared part of my message.  Here are some of my notes.
Where is your treasure?

Where is your heart?

GREED has got a hold on us that is SO tight…
We’re afraid so we HANG ON to what we have. We’re so afraid of the future that we can’t trust God… so we gather more and more for ourselves.
The problem is that the STUFF of this world belongs to God—not to us. God gave us STEWARDSHIP responsibility for the earth, not ownership. “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it…” Psalm 24:1
But we don’t treat our stuff as if it all belongs to God. Instead, we want more and more and more… more money so we can get more stuff…
Greed hangs on—Greed is the sin that puts a price on EVERYTHING. It is the “excessive and rapacious desire for wealth and possessions.” It is covetousness, acquisitiveness, avarice. It leads to hoarding, cheating, corruption and theft. Our possessions control us.
The Bible tells us something different. Love your NEIGHBOR as yourself! Do not pile up things for you. Share—and trust God.
As we get more and more stuff, we not only hurt ourselves, we hurt the earth God has given us.

Here’s a clip from a video called “The Story of Stuff” – this video is VERY CONTROVERSIAL. Fox News and Glenn Beck call it dangerous… but I think we need to pay attention to what it has to say, even if we can debate the details. Let’s take a look at the first clip.
The Story of Stuff video
begin at “We’ll start with extraction”
stop at “You don’t have value”
OK… when we talk about LUST and the need for sexual purity we’re accused of being puritan and fundamentalist—and when we talk about the sin of GREED and the fact that NOT ALL SHOPPING is good, not all THINGS are good—then we’re accused of being communists or, God forbid, democrats…
Yes, Annie Leonard does have a political agenda, but that doesn’t mean there are not truths important to understand. Besides, I think her drawings are really clever.

The Bible is NOT in favor of GREED!
First Timothy 6 says this: 6 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; 8 but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
Is greed responsible for hurting God’s good earth? It’s a question worth considering. Is Capitalism all good? Or is it full of sin just like every other human enterprise
Greed has brought us slavery and sweatshops, gambling and child trafficking. Greed may have an upside in getting us to be ambitious, but it’s downsides are huge.
Of course, greed is not something that is easy to put aside.
Let’s play the next video clip from the STORY OF STUFF—it focuses on the GOLDEN ARROW!
The Story of Stuff video
begin at “The Golden Arrow”
stop at “We can just STOP”

How do we get off the wheel? 

I can't do it.  I am stuck. 

Stuck with this Greed

This Greedy, fear filled acquisitive life.
Pause and look at the Cross covered with dirty rags of sin.
Jesus didn't live to accumulate.  He lived to give.  He gave himself.  He GAVE everything for us... He sacrificed himself for greedy, selfish people like me.
So that's what I will do.  I will look at JESUS and the sacrifice for us.
He GAVE himself…  for me... because of his love... for me... for you...
Can we look to him and pattern our lives after his, a GIVING life instead of a TAKING greedy life?
And, when we catch ourselves doing what we shouldn’t--being selfish, accumulating more "stuff" for me, for my family... then I can bring it back to the cross.
Jesus died for the sin of the WHOLE WORLD – and that includes all we do to God’s good earth, and to ourselves and oru families as we pursue STUFF, as we get greedy and just want more and more…
Then we took time for silence...

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Listening for God’s Voice

How is “Greed” in the Way of God’s Love, Joy and Peace in my life?
How does this sin offend God and hurt others?

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Our youth director and seminarian, Nate Bendorf, read
Luke 23:26-34
as I knelt and prayed.

Then Matt Maher led us by video in Love Will Hold Us Together
Chorus: Love will hold us together, Make us a shelter to weather the storm. And I´ll be my brother’s keeper. So the whole world will know that we´re not alone.
It don´t have a job, don´t pay your bills, Won´t buy you a home in Beverly Hills. Won´t fix your life in five easy steps. Ain´t the law of the land or the government. But it’s all you need.

It´s waiting for you, knocking at your door! In the moment of truth, when your heart hits the floor. And you’re on your knees.

This is the first day of the rest of your life. (2x)
’Cause even in the dark, you can still see the light
It´s gonna be alright, it’s gonna be alright. (repeat)
Copyright 2009 ThankYou Music. Used by permission CCLI License #46661

1. Share and a high and low from your day or week. (If you haven’t met get to know each other!)
2. What was the theme tonight?
3. How do you see this theme in every day life?
4. What are some ways that this is present in your own lives?
5. What attitude does God put in its place?
6. Spend a few minutes praying for one another, lifting up to the Lord whatever concerns or worries may come up, and giving thanks for God’s good gifts.
7. Consider planning to do something enjoyable with your mentor partner outside of church.

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