6Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; 8but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. 11But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 16It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. 17As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, 19thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.
A story is told of a small boy who became disappointed at home. To this six-year old, it seemed he was always in trouble; he couldn't do anything right; his middle name must really be "NO" and his parents didn't love him any more. So, while his mother was busy at the other end of the house, he crept into the kitchen, took out the peanut butter and jelly, made himself a sandwich, cut it in two and wrapped it in a paper towel. With this he put two Twinkies in a brown paper bag, and he tiptoed out the front door, quietly shutting it behind him.
The little boy needed some time to think. So, he walked himself to the park at the end of the block. He wasn't quite sure what he'd do when he got there, but off he went into the world to find some place to think about his life.
About this same time, from around the other side of the park, a very old woman set out from her son's home. She'd been living there since her health had begun to be a challenge. Her memory wasn't as good as it used to be, but she knew what might happen next when she'd heard her son and daughter-in-law arguing about what they were going to do with her these days.
The old lady needed some time to think. So, she grabbed her cane, listened carefully to make sure no one would hear her go, and slowly made her way to her favorite bench in the park. In her favorite place, she would take some time to think about her life.
As she arrived at the park, she noticed a young boy sitting quietly on her favorite bench, but this didn't stop the old lady. She quietly sat at the sunny end of the bench and the two of them sat in silence through most of the morning.
About noon, the little boy reached into his brown paper bag and took out that paper-wrapped peanut butter sandwich. He carefully broke it in two and handed one half to the old lady. She smiled as her shaky hand reached out to take it from him. In silence they shared the sticky sweetness.
Then the boy reached into the bag and brought out the Twinkies, and again he offered to share his favorite dessert. The old lady had trouble opening the cellophane wrapping, so the little boy helped when her arthritic fingers couldn't quite open the treat. Again, in silence they shared the sweet moment.
Without saying a word, the little boy picked up the papers, smiled at the old lady, and set himself out for home. At the same moment the old lady set her face toward her son's house. And, she began her journey with a surprisingly lighter step.
When the boy and the old lady got home, their worried families asked them where in the world they'd gone. The old lady answered her son, "I had the most wonderful day. I walked to the park and ate lunch with God. Y'know, he's a lot younger than I would have thought."
The little boy answered his anxious mother, "I had the most wonderful day. I walked to the park and ate lunch with God. Y'know, she has the most wonderful smile!"
What did both of these people need? They needed God. They needed to be in the presence of the Holy. When there is nowhere else to turn, they turn to God. The glimpse of God they receive is when they give of themselves.
Let us pray: Lord, may we value the relationship we have you above everything else. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen