We all love a story where the bad guy gets what is coming to him in the end. The rich man was not bad simply because he was rich, but because he had the means to show compassion and mercy for the beggar Lazarus yet still chose to ignore him. Wealth is not evil. It is how we use our wealth that matters. We are to give out of the love of God within us.
I relate more to Lazarus than to the rich man in this parable. And yet, simply by the blessing of living in North America, I am wealthier than much of the world. It is easy to cocoon ourselves in our own comfortable worlds, ignoring the needs of others.
At the same time, we are all poor beggars who cannot save ourselves. Good works will not buy our way into heaven, only the free gift of salvation by grace alone. This wonderful gift enables us to love our neighbours as God has commanded.
Gracious God, we are rich with the blessings of a free country, food to eat and so much more. Fill us to overflowing with your love so that we are ready to share our riches with others. Amen. — JW