Day 28 Devotional & Discussion – March 12, 2016

ECCLESIASTES 2:4-11; 1 KINGS 6:38 – 7:12

The writer of Ecclesiastes (possibly Solomon) built opulent houses and enjoyed all the “comforts of home.” Solomon spent 7 years building the Temple in Jerusalem and 13 years building his palace (all built using slave labor.) Note the lengthy description of his palace and the “high-end” materials and features.  Yet in the end, his home and the luxurious lifestyle left him empty.

Questions for Reflection

  1. What logic do you think Solomon used to justify such a large and opulent house?
  2. What logic do people use today?
  3. How would your home and lifestyle change if you took the lesson, “this too is meaningless,” to heart?

There is no devotional for Sunday, March 13, 2016

3 comments

  1. In an interview with NPR, Governor Rahner stated that he had a healthy “prosperity conscious” and that those in need had “faulty thinking,” While there is sometimes a grain of truth to this (we all have known people who continually think about what they don’t want all the time, rather than the person they want to be), it was rather evident that he was justifying his incredible wealth, and the horrific cuts he made on the backs of the most vulnerable.

    Rahner, as we know, has nine luxury residences throughout the world, and never pays less than a $1,000.00 for a bottle of wine.

    True prosperity, for me, includes sharing wealth. What you do unto the least, you do onto me, is a Sunday school lesson he has never learned. I actually believe his fuzzy logic is indicative a psychotic ideation. Rahner is responsible for many deaths, and contributed to the homeless, and that’s just for starters.

    We do have a pretty big house, although Rob and Tuck live downstairs, and we pretty much leave Georgie to enjoy the first floor, giving Georgie his “personal” space, although I love using our “office,” a small room with a comfy chair, desk, shelves and computer. I suppose this is our “luxury.” We have nothing “high end,” except for a large screen TV that is broken.

    Marianne has shared the house with grandchildren and others. We could not conceive of acquiring expensive designer items, while people around us struggle. In my opinion, we are a soul, and we are not our possessions, nor even thoughts. At the core we are a soul, meant to learn ways to love. Love implies unity with others, and asks that we share. I could write a book on this, but Governor Rahner has written his own book of life with his fuzzy logic, and lack of social interest.

    True prosperity includes the stance that others are worthy, and deserving. At least, Jesus seemed to think so…

  2. We associate opulence and large, grand homes as the reward for success. People tell themselves, “I’ve worked hard. I deserve it.” I’ve also heard people say, “I can afford it, so why shouldn’t it have it?” The opulence becomes the outward evidence of social aspiration and upward mobility. It shouts to the world, “I’ve made it.”

    Among some faith traditions, opulence is a sign of God’s blessing. Having high-end homes and cars are a sign of “spiritual success”. I had a conversation one time with a pastor who drove a BMW and lived in a very large house while his congregation was struggling. He justified it by saying that he needed to show his congregation that if they trusted God and worked hard, God would bless them with the same things. (Ironically, most of his “wealth” came from his struggling congregation!)

    1. Yes, when I was at Garrett, an instructor drove a Mercedes. He said that “he needed it because his congregation expected it.” They were struggling. I just didn’t “get it.” Most of us didn’t.

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