Armodoxy for Today
And there I was…
Our Advent Journey continues with the parable of the ‘Rich Fool,’ as told by Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 12. The last couple of days we have looked at this parable as the starting point for the Advent season. If you remember, on our first day of examining this parable I asked you to pay particular attention to the words expressed by, whom we now understand as, the Rich Fool.
The entire parable is all of 120 words uttered by Jesus himself. Of that count, 62 of the words, that is over 50% of the words are those attributed to the Rich Fool. And of those 50%, every one of them was about himself and articulated with I-s and My-s!
… ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?… I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’
In fact, the Fool has no regard for anyone or anything beside himself. The great minister of the Gospel and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. once answered the Fool by suggesting that he could have stored the extra food, the abundance of crops, in the bellies of starving children! But any hope of extending the bounty to others is wiped out by the abundance of the I-s and My-s in the Fool’s vocabulary.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus cautions against calling anyone a fool, yet he has no problem designating this man with the adjective, for in fact a person who doesn’t see life beyond themselves is a fool.
Armenian Orthodoxy grew in a world where sharing the abundance of the land was a rule of life. When we see beyond ourselves, we then mimic God because we begin to speak the language of love. “Love does not seek its own,” says the Apostle (I Corinthians 13:5). We understand the beauty of the Christmas message that God so loved the world, so much so that He gave His very best. (John 3:16). When we remove the I-s and My-s from our vocabulary, we make room for so much more, especially for words such as We and Us.
Let us pray a prayer that comes from the Wedding ceremony of the Armenian Church, a ceremony that ties two into one. It is a simple prayer, “Lord, plant me as a fruitful olive tree in the House of God.”
We continue the Advent Journey tomorrow. I look forward to having you join us.