|Theme:||Guarding against greed. Proper 13 (18) Yr. C|
|Object:||A briefcase (Perhaps full of play money.)|
|Scripture:||Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” Luke 12:15 (NLT)|
You have probably seen the TV show "Deal or No Deal." For those who haven’t, this is the way the game is played. The game starts with 26 briefcases. Each one has money in it – from one cent all the way up to one million dollars. The contestant begins the game by choosing one of the briefcases which contains his prize. The contestant then begins eliminating cases, a few at a time, trying to guess which one might contain the million dollars, but after every few cases, there’s a banker who offers some money to buy the contestant's briefcase.
The show's host then looks at the contestant and asks the question, “Deal or No Deal?” The contestant has to decide whether to take the offer and end the game or keep playing. It’s interesting to see how greed often takes hold of contestants and causes them to turn down a large amount of money to take the chance that they might win the million dollars – or lose everything.
It is very rare that a contestant on "Deal or No Deal" wins the top prize and, even though a contestant may win a nice sum of money, they may be disappointed that they didn't win the top prize. It is just like it is in life. Sometimes people go through life making deals and trying to build up more and more wealth. They think that the more money and possessions they have, the happier they will be. In the end, they are usually disappointed.
Jesus warned about that. He said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” He then told the story of a man whose land had produced so much grain that he had no place to store it. Even though he had plenty, he wanted more, so he decided to tear down his barns and build bigger ones. Jesus said the man was a fool, for when his life was over, he would leave everything behind. He would leave this world with nothing.
Life is not a TV game show and God doesn't make deals. God has promised to supply all of our needs, but He has not promised to fulfill every selfish wish. “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed."
Dear Father, help us to be content with the blessings which you so generously give us and help us to be on guard against selfishness and greed. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
Note: There are different versions of the "Deal or No Deal" game depending on where the show is aired. You may need to alter the sermon to match the way the game is played in your locale.
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