Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


Shmoop—not to be confused with Goop—is kind of like Cliff Notes. Shmoop writers are scholars with a soft spot for bored students. They offer facts with flare, exegesis with an edge.

The commentary on Luke 6, for example: “They're certainly not going to let him into a tie-only country club. He'll send everyone home feeling guilty if he's not arrested first.” That was that on time when Jesus said “woe to you who are rich.”

No fewer than ten times are we forced to entertain the intersection of our material resources and faithfulness to God: And this is only one book. He’s on a tear (Jesus, Luke, or both Jesus and Luke).

For a long time, I allowed myself to tiptoe around the intersection. I was not afraid as much as I was unsure of how to co-mingle my theology of preaching and my theology of money. I could not figure out how to make them buddies.

To have a theology of something is to have a point of view. As there is no shortage of those, in our time, I should say that a theology is not a theology absent study and engagement. To have a Christian theology of work, for example, means studying the Scriptures and showing up to Christian community while one is defining work.

Back to introducing my theology of preaching to my theology of money and hoping they got along: Help was on the pages of Scripture, all along. I didn’t just have a theology issue. I had a trust issue. Stay with me.

People brought all kinds of debates to Jesus, which were not matters that God intended the incarnation to settle. But Jesus initiates plenty of storytelling and advising on the topics of his choosing. If Jesus brings up our relationship with possessions and wealth, not once, but many times, could I trust that God intends for us to talk about it?

Could I trust that you were willing to go with me, wherever the Scriptures might take us? Even if it is to a place that others around us resist or resent?

I am working on it. Or God is working on me. In any case, thank the Spirit for breakthroughs, however small, whenever they come. Someday I will look back on this generosity sermon series and remember little of what I said and much about the people who called forth more from their pastor.