Thursday, 13 October 2011

The man who had everything

The man who had everything – Luke 12.13-21 KS 2 -SEAL Theme New beginnings - resolving an argument

I’ve got a brother. We get on very well now, but when we were little we used to argue. Brothers and sisters usually do. Do you fight with your brothers and sisters? What do you fight about? Often it is probably things that when you think about it don’t really matter all that much. You just want to win. Sometimes brothers and sisters carry on arguing even when they get big.

Once two brothers came to see Jesus. They were having a big argument. Their father had died and they had inherited his money and his things, but they couldn’t agree how to share them out.. “I should have more” said the older brother,”because I’m the older brother”. No, that’s not fair, said the other, we should share it evenly. Anyway, father’s already given you stuff.” “Yes, but I work harder than you…so I deserve it.”
They were shouting and stamping their feet at each other. “Jesus, they both said – sort it out. Make my brother give me what is fair!”
Jesus sighed… “I’m not really here to sort out family disputes he said, but let me tell you a story…”

“There was once a farmer who was very successful. His crops grew well, and all his animals grew fat and strong. At harvest his farm produced more than he could use. So he built a barn to put the extra in. The next harvest his farm produced even more. So he built another barn, then another, then another. He had more food than he knew what to do with, more money  than he could spend…
Harvest time came round again and yet again it was a bumper crop, wagon after wagon of grain and vegetables and fruit. He piled it all high in his barns till every little space was filled up. But there was still more to fit in.
It’s no good , he said to himself. I shall have to pull down these barns and build bigger ones to put all the food in.
So that’s what he did. He built himself the biggest barns you’ve ever seen and he filled them up to the rafters with his harvest.

There, he said ! That’s better. Now I shall have everything I want forever. I shall be able to eat and drink whatever I want whenever I want, feast every night, pig out on good food… I’m set up for life!

But at that point, God spoke to him. You silly man, he said. It’s all very well having all this food, being set up for life, but no one lives forever. You are already very old, and as it happens tonight is  your last night – you are about to die… and all this food won’t be any use to you now. You have spent your whole life heaping it up, but you are never going to get to enjoy it…

And the man thought about it. He thought of all the things he hadn’t done while he was busy heaping up all that food. He hadn’t paid any attention to his family or his friends, and he didn’t have anyone who cared about him now. He hadn’t actually enjoyed his life, or done anything for anyone else. He could have shared his food with others, and made them happy, but he’d kept it all for himself. And now he was dying, and it was too late. And with that, he died,” said Jesus. “

“Now”, said Jesus, to the brothers who had come to see him, “what do you think of that? What’s more important? Having a lot of money and things, or being friends with each other and helping each other out? Which will really matter in the end?”

We don’t know what the brothers did – do you think they made up and found a way of sharing, or do you think they carried on fighting?
What would you do?

(Responses included: “they should share fairly” “It was more important that they should be friends than have things”)
We often fight over things that aren’t really important. It’s far more important to have friends and to look after others.

Prayer – think of something we’ve fought over. Help us to see what is really important and to share what we have.