The Latter Rain: Celebrate Lent-Day8
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Luke 15: 17-20 NIV
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that humanity is suffering greatly. In our modern western culture we seem to have everything we want, yet we want more. We can’t even say why we want more, we just do. We want the latest and greatest of everything. Whatever we have, it is not enough so we get more. There has to be a time when we wake up and realize that stuff will never buy happiness and contentment.
When billionaire philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller was asked how much money is enough, his answer was telling of our current society’s rampant consumerism – “Just one more dollar”, he said. In 1937, at the zenith of his wealth, Rockefeller’s net worth was about 1.6% of the total of he U.S. economy at the time. He also owned about 90% of all the oil and gas produced in his day. Using that standard today, his wealth would dwarf the billionaires of today.
In fairness to his memory, Rockefeller did an enormous amount of good with his fortunes. He was even quoted as saying,
“God gave me my money. I believe the power to make money is a gift from God, to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind.” *
Today, humanity seems to be seeking meaning and purpose to life in the accumulation of things, yet we are a most unhappy people. Things such as emotional illness and suicide rates are higher than in half a century. With so much luxury and convenience in our lives, why are we so unfulfilled? The answer can be found in a fundamental truth of the historic Christian faith…this world is not our home. We were not made for such a temporary existence.
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.“ 1 Peter 2:11
The Apostle Peter says we are ‘sojourners’ and ‘exiles’ in this world. The writer of Hebrews says that we are looking for another city that is not of this world, a city in the Heavens whose builder is God (Hebrews 11).
In Luke 15, Jesus tells how the prodigal son, after squandering everything he had with what could accurately be described as a wonton consumeristic lifestyle, finally “came to his senses.” What he finally realized was that in his Father’s house he had everything he really needed -a home filled with love.
On this Lenten journey of celebration, let us celebrate what we already have. We have the love of our Heavenly Father, just as we are. There is nothing we could do or buy that would bring us closer to God or make Him love us more. His love is complete in every human being; we need only awaken to the reality.
Take some time today and count your real blessings, not just your material ones. You know…your family, your health, your work, your home, and the fact that you are not going hungry as is so much of the world. And, if you sense you need something else, pray about it and ask your Heavenly Father if it is what you need. After all, He knows your real needs. Then, give Him the glory and realize that everything, even your material ones are gifts from God..they are his latter rain showering blessings on you.