Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
“The heavens are yours, the earth is also yours; the world and all that is in it — you founded them.” Psalm 89:11
The flamboyant entertainer Liberace was a remarkable musician, but he was known for his lavish costumes, lavish rings, mink capes, ornate pianos, candelabras, and expensive tastes. He was known as “Mr. Showmanship.” He described his act saying, “I am a one-man Disneyland.” At one point in his career, he was getting 10,000 pieces of fan mail a week.
I remember seeing an interview with Liberace on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” at his Las Vegas home. As you might imagine, his home was over the top, and the treasures that he had collected were impressive, to say the least. He proudly displayed China dishes from the Palace of Versailles once owned by Louis the XIV. The interviewer was duly impressed and he asked Liberace how long he had owned the China. Mr. Showmanship was stopped in his tracks. He replied, “Own it? How could one own such a thing? I don’t own it; no one will ever own it. I am just caring for it for a short time.”
I have never forgotten that interview and the profound lesson that it taught me. The truth is, we own nothing. Your body is not yours: your mind is not yours, your wealth is not yours, your home will belong to someone else soon, your children are entrusted to you for a short time. Everything you are and everything that you have is on loan to you, nothing belongs to you. Nothing belongs to me.
Whose is it? It all belongs to God. The water that you drink from your water bottle has passed by the lips of peasants and kings, bears and rhinos. The water in your water bottle was frozen in glaciers a million years ago; it ran down the Jordan when Jesus was baptized, it has passed through more bladders than you could count. Who does it belong to? There is only one answer: God.
Everything is interconnected and nothing is in our possession — not for long anyway! We are simply caretakers, taking our turn, caring for all that has been entrusted to us. We are dust and to dust we shall return; and the dust in your body was once the house of other humans, your bones, their bones, your teeth, their teeth. It is “The Law of Conservation of Matter.” Matter is neither created nor destroyed; the total amount of mass and energy in the Universe is constant.
None of it belongs to us. It is all a gift entrusted to us for a short time. Don’t tell me that your body belongs to you. Don’t tell me about your rights. Tell me about your responsibility. Don’t tell me what you are entitled to, but tell me what you intend to do that will benefit the common good.
Whose is it? It all belongs to the Master of the Universe and the Master of the Universe loves you.
See you in Church.