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Not My Way

Between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours
Amos 6:1,4-7; Psalm 146:7-10; I Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31

Sermon Week Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 16:26

There is a primitive bridge in South America made up of interlocking vines which support a precariously swinging wooden walkway -- hundreds of feet above a river. Author Philip Yancey once stood at the edge of the great gulf trying to decide whether to cross over. "I knew the bridge had supported hundreds of people over many years," he said, "and even as I stood there, I could see people confidently crossing over."

He reasoned, "The engineer in me wanted to weigh all the factors; measure the stress tolerance of the vines; test the wood for termites; survey all the bridges in the area for one that might have been stronger. I could have spent a lifetime determining whether the bridge was trustworthy. But eventually, if I really wanted to cross, I had to take a step. And when I finally put my weight on the bridge and walked across, even though my heart was pounding and my knees were shaking, I was making a statement -- declaring my position."

The author continued, "In the Christian world, I sometimes must live like this, making choices which contain inherent uncertainty. If I wait for all the evidence to be in, for everything to be settled, I'll never move. Often, I have had to act on the basis of the bones of the Christian faith before those bones were fully formed in me and before I understood the reason for their existence. Bone is hard, but it is alive. If the bones of faith do not continue to grow, they will soon become dead skeletons." -1

In the matter of Christian values, our bones of our faith, a great many of us seem powerless to make a statement -- declaring our decision to narrow the gulf between our way of living and the way of life God has revealed in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus tells a parable about the gulf that separated a very wealthy man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. Jesus told this story mainly for the benefit of the Pharisees -- members of the [...]

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