Monday, April 18, 2011

Sermon on the Mount 15: Master?

Scripture: Matthew 6:24

Focus: Master

Reflection: The term Master is against so many of the values and beliefs Americans have of how power is to be structured. NO one is to have a master. We are to be individualistic and most of all, free from any master. When Jesus says that we are not to serve two masters, a knee jerk response here is whether any masters should be served. Why serve a master? Why be oppressed? 

What seems like antiquated language here is highly relevant when Jesus identifies two competing masters: God and money. Some people might take issues with the idea of God as master, particularly since God makes freedom claims for humanity. But when the alternative is money, Americans are hard pressed to see money as not a master.

Wealth is certainly good when it is compared to poverty, but the problem is that people are generally not good at leveraging wealth toward good. Being not in poverty only goes so far. Getting out of poverty in and of itself has no virtue in it. We do bad things with wealth. We hoard wealth, spend it on unhealthy things, use it to resolve emotional problems, leverage against others in order to accumulate power, we measure our own value by it, we spend a lot of time counting it, and we find ways to outsource responsibilities with it. We think we can buy things with it that are actually unpurchaseable. Money is an evil master.

We are a greatest risk when we think that we go through life unmastered.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. God offers a way out of it all by being willing to be a good master. Ironically, a good master who is invested in freedom – your freedom.

Freedom is not self-reliance. Freedom is choosing the right master.


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