Are you shrewd? Have or show sharp powers of judgment, astute ? Are you smart or clever in a practical way? Resourceful in practical matters? Are you honest — or dishonest? The following is based on a sermon delivered 9/16/2016 at Christ Lutheran Church, Aptos.
Some ways you might be shrewd in practical matters:
Maybe you know how to get that great deal for 20 sewing machines that can be bought for half the usual price.
Maybe you typically feed a family of six for half the cost what others do.
Maybe you know the best hardware store to frequent for buying screwdrivers.
Some make shrewd actions honestly and others do so in a dishonest way. Right?
Jesus rewards a dishonest manager — because he was shrewd.
Luke 16.1-13 “And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly…
This parable is called ‘the problem child of all of Jesus’s parables.’
The parable: There was a rich man who had a manager who was cooking the books. The rich man said to his manager, I’m going to audit the books and you are going to lose your job. In response, the manager went through all the accounts and made special deals.
In those days Jewish law did not permit charging interest. However, people did in fact charge huge, impossible to repay interest rates. Does that remind you of a few decades ago here in the USA?
Back to the parable: in preparation to being fired, the manager cooked the books
and then went back to the rich man.
Unexpected result: Instead of firing the manager which the manager expected — because he had been cooking the books and then setting up things so he’d be taken care of after he was fired — the rich man commends his dishonest manager because he was shrewd.
What to make of this parable? Be shrewd as Jesus was shrewd.
Groups of people as churches can together act shrewdly. For example: one Aptos, CA church, Christ Lutheran Church http://www.aptoschurch.org together with other churches recently raised $12,000 from the efforts of 61 participants in Walk for Clean Water for one particular community in El Salvador. Together they acted shrewdly.
Christ Lutheran in Aptos, CA has a many year relationship with this one community which, through discussion with them lead to a goal to raise money to be used to build latrines which will improve their water supply.
Many families in this one community in El Salvador will soon have composed toilets as a result.
Take away from this parable:
When you invest yourself — your time and money — you are ‘with it’ and interested in the results.
Yes, be shrewd and apply it to your faith as Jesus did.
In this parable, Jesus goes on to say, “No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” [conspicuous consumption].
Jesus was the ultimate shrewd investor. Jesus was clever. And, Jesus invested his entire life …. that you may have life.
written by Cameron Jackson DrCameronJackson@gmail.com
The above is based on a sermon delivered at Christ Lutheran Church, Aptos, CA September 18, 2016, by Rev. Dale Sollom-Brotherton. pastor@AptosChruch.org
Church Office Information: 831 688-5727 email: office@AptosChurch.org http://www.AptosChurch.org
Santa Cruz al Salvador is an International Outreach project with several other area churches. http://www.santacruzalsalvador.org