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Unfixing Chasms & Creating Connections
This sermon was originally preached on September 25, 2022 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Park, MN..
The service may be viewed here. The sermon may be viewed here.
Lectionary Texts: Amos 6:1a, 4-7 | Psalm 146 | 1 Timothy 6:6-19
Gospel Text: Luke 16:19-31
Beloved of God, it has been a week, capital A, capital W.
It began with the Queen of England’s fantastically opulent funeral, which dominated global headlines even as massive natural disasters hit both Puerto Rico and the western coast of Mexico, leaving millions traumatized, and without running water or electricity.
Then 48 Minnesotans were indicted in the largest-to-date COVID-19 fraud scheme, in which they are alleged to have stolen upwards of $250 MILLION dollars of federal aid that was meant to feed hungry families during the pandemic.
And over on Instagram, I stumbled on a luxury real estate gossip page that shares slideshows of the hundred-million-dollar mansions being purchased and sold, traded and swapped, between celebrities and billionaires in LA and Miami the way my cousins and I trade the same $15 dollars back and forth to whoever needs to buy gas or groceries with two days to go before payday.
And so as I read and studied today’s gospel, my claws were out, my hackles were raised, and I felt not a little bit of rage as I recognized the wildly different experiences of the Haves and the Have Nots here and now in the pages of this millennia-old parable.
Despite the hackles, some questions immediately came to mind:
Firstly, Who or what “fixed the chasm” between the Rich Man in Hades and Lazuarus in Abraham’s Bosom? And,
Secondly, Where or what is Hades, and what is the nature of the Rich Man’s “torment” there?
So I did some digging.
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