And he (Jesus) said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. Luke 12:15-18 (NRSV)
As most of you know I grew up on a farm. Maybe, that is one of the reasons I enjoy driving around the country looking at the crops. During the past couple of weeks I have driven through a large part of South Dakota and everywhere I go I am amazed at the corn crop. If South Dakota does not get a record corn harvest this year I will be very surprised. I still remember my thoughts back in March. After a winter with very little moisture I thought that we would be in for a long dry summer, like last year. Much to my surprise, and the surprise of many others, that has not been the case. Except for the extreme southwest corner of the state, South Dakota has been blessed with an abundance of moisture this spring and summer. Hopefully, the response of the farmers (and business people who benefit when the farmers have a good harvest) will be special prayers of thanks to God who has provided all the moisture this year. The farmer in Jesus’s parable had an abundant harvest. Unfortunately, he gave no credit to God for the blessings he had received. As you read the parable it is all about himself. Jesus reminds us to be on guard against all kinds of greed. I do believe we live in a society based on greed. We are constantly bombarded by ads encouraging us to buy more and more things. But how often are we encouraged to stop and give thanks for the abundance that most of us have. This weekend take some time to look around your house and your garage. Take a close look at all the things you have. Then take a moment to thank God for the many ways God has blessed you.