That chart is the DJIA for the past two years. It reached an all time high on 10/9/07 at 14,164. Yesterday it closed at 7,997, a drop of 43.5% in just over 1 year. James writes about the merchant who says lets go to some town and spend a year there. We’ll make money. He upbraids this guy probably in the spirit of the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21). You fool, directed not at the guy’s desire to make money, but at his arrogance. This guy has no God. He is the master of his own ship. The captain of his own fate. As much as American’s like the story of the self made man, ultimately it is a form of idol worship. We are all accountable to God. God has a way of reminding us of that at times – like 43% dives in the stock market and the anihilhation of Wall Street. The Masters of the Universe are begging for bailouts. And James goes further comparing the rich to cattle. Those cows keep eating as long as there is grass. The make themsleves fatter right up to the day of slaughter. Go look at the headlines from 10/9/07.
Bush Expands Pell Grants $20B – funded by cut in Bank Subsidies
FCC Holds Series of Workshops on Digital TV Conversion
A Bank Bets on Condos
Union Tells Chrysler Workers to Prepare for Strike
I think you get the point. Wealth while it can be a gift, it can also be an illusion. For ultimately what are our lives? We are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. It is only those things connected to Christ that last. Anything not connected to Christ will testify against us on that last day. If we know what is right and do not so it, we sin. High standard. Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ who saves us from the evil we do to ourselves.
There were two other great readings today: Malachi 2:1-16 and Luke 17:20-37. The OT reading would be especially good for those who attended today’s morning bible study. It is God talking about the connection between himself and his people in the metaphor of marriage and adultery. As a church, we are awful at teaching about marriage and sexuality. There is a deep connection between chastity and marital faithfulness and faithfulness to GOD. Without one the other is near impossible. Read Rom 1:21-32. This needs more thought.