Am I really listening?

Whose silent cries for help are being crowded out by my responses to the demands of my lifestyle?

As part of Common Grace‘s lent teaching series, Rev Keith Jobberns discusses the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).  Click here to see the video.

This parable tells the story of a rich man, whose life is focussed on his wealth and lifestyle. Outside the gates to his house lies Lazarus, a poor man who was “covered with sores”. In the story, both men die. After death, the rich man is in pain and separated from relief: his wealth could no longer gain him the comfort he lacked. The true poverty of his self-absorbed lifestyle becomes apparent in this section of the story. Having lived a life where he was distracted by wealth, he missed the opportunity to connect with the values of the Kingdom of God and thus enjoy a truly abundant life. In contrast, Lazarus now receives the comfort he lacked when he lay outside the rich man’s gate and was overlooked.

As we exist in a world where we are bombarded by information and messages from many sources, it is common to become distracted and absorbed by our day to day life. This can leave us with little space to see opportunities to live out the values of God’s Kingdom. In today’s parable, Lazarus lay just outside the rich man’s home: within sight, yet easy to ignore. What are some of the injustices that are within your sight, but are easy to ignore? Who are the hurting people you walk by every day and leave on the outer?

The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus presents us with a pertinent reminder to look outside the busyness and distraction of our lives. It is normal to dwell in a bubble of people and lifestyle. The invitation to participate in God’s Kingdom may be on our doorstep, just outside the bubble.