Day 23 Devotional & Discussion – March 7, 2016

LUKE 16:19-31

The rich man in Jesus’ story lives in a “gated community” while homeless Lazarus begs at the corner. Do you think the rich man is even aware of Lazarus? Please note that the rich man was not condemned for being rich, but for living rich every day in the face of extreme poverty.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. From what you have learned from “Moses and the prophets” what would God want us to do in relationship to Lazarus?
  2. While we often see homeless people in our community, it is more difficult to see those who are housing insecure. How can you become more aware of those who are struggling to maintain stable housing?  
  3. Why is homelessness tolerated in your community?

One comment

  1. This story is NOT about the afterlife or heaven and hell. I believe this is a story about how wealth and social class are oppositional to the purposes of God. At the end of the story, we are led to reflect on what Moses and the prophets say about the poor and the community’s responsibility to practice liberation and jubilee. The rich man eats good food, dresses in fine clothes, and lives in a gated luxury housing development. And every day, he passes by a beggar–a beggar who has a name, Lazarus. Beggars and homeless people have names. In every way the rich man is different from Lazarus. While he momentarily shares a geographical location with Lazarus, his social location is so far removed from him that the struggles Lazarus faces every day mean nothing. Bottom line? The rich man doesn’t care about Lazarus’ lack of food, lack of income, lack of housing and lack of healthcare (no, dogs licking your wounds does not count as healthcare!). His wealth isolates him and insulates him from the problem. While he has the means to do justice and love mercy and walk humbly, he chooses to pass by Lazarus every day. THIS is not God’s plan for the community. Unfortunately, in 2000+ years, we still haven’t learned to listen to Moses and the prophets.

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