Sunday, September 18, 2016 -Lectionary 25 Introduction
As we are invited today to consider what it means to be managers (rather than owners) of all that we have, it is crucial to recall that we are bought with a price. “Christ Jesus, himself human, . . . gave himself a ransom for all.” Apart from the generosity of God we have nothing—we are nothing. By God’s gracious favor we have everything we need.
First Reading: Amos 8:4-7
Amos was called by God to prophesy in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Peace and prosperity in Israel led to corrupt business practices and oppression of the poor. The prophet declares that God will not tolerate such a situation.
Psalm: Psalm 113
The Lord lifts up the poor from the ashes. (Ps. 113:7)
Second Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-7
The Pastoral Epistles offer insight into how early Christians understood many practical matters, such as church administration and worship. The church’s focused prayer for others is an expression of the single-minded passion God has toward us in Jesus.
Gospel: Luke 16:1-13
Jesus tells the curious story of a dishonest man who cheats his employer and then is commended by him for having acted so shrewdly. Jesus wonders why his own followers are less creative and diligent in their stewardship given that they are managers of a far more valuable household.