Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 29, 2013
A second chance
I don’t know about you, but for me the summer heat is something I look forward to. Now that summer is over, I hope that you have enjoyed it as much as I did. Let me explain a little, as someone coming from Latin America, where there are for the most part only two types of weather; it is either hot or “hotter.”
I look forward to summer just like a kid, but I would not want to be on the receiving end of Luke 16:19-31, where Jesus shares about a poor beggar named Lazarus and a rich man.
As I read this Scripture passage, I could not help but realize that what Jesus was trying to share in this parable was a picture of what hell feels like: uncomfortable unease and unending suffering. It was so unbearable that the rich man asked Abraham for water to quench his uncontrollable thirst. As with the woman at the well in the Gospel of John, who needed water to quench her own thirst, Jesus appeared to connect himself to the only true way to accomplish that.
People of God, can we stop for a second and think about our treatment toward the poor, and what the consequences are? I spoke to a gentleman a few weeks ago who shared what he experienced when he went into a church that serves a meal to the poor, how the people sharing this meal treated him and how they were so mean. He said, “Do you think that I would be asking for a handout if I could do better? No!”
Remember, we do have a second chance, unlike the rich man in this parable. He also wanted to go back and warn his brothers about hell. Too late!
The hope (Esperanza) of eternal water we have through Jesus is a second chance. Embrace it!
Rhonda Robinson, pastor, Esperanza for Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania