Don’t Wait Until it is Too Late
Depending on how a person got that way, there may be nothing wrong with being rich. Some people got rich without meaning to. Rick Warren wrote a book. It sold a zillion copies, and he was rich. (As a result, Rick and Kay decided to give 90% of their income to charity and stop taking a salary from the church.)
Most of us think of rich in terms of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. But, most people in the United States are rich by world standards.
Albert Switzer was asked why he left his music and medical practice in Great Britain to be a medical missionary in Africa. He replied that almost everyone living in the United Kingdom was Dives (Dives is really not a name; it is derived from the Latin for “rich” in the Vulgate translation of Luke 16), but out in (what were in those days British) colonies, Lazarus languishes in misery.
We are the rich man.
Lazarus is all around us.
He lives in every impoverished area around the world. He is in all our cities and in pockets of suburbia as well. He lives in virtually every small town. You need not go to Africa to find him. He is next door.
But there is a gate between Lazarus and us.
The rich man in Jesus’ parable never noticed Lazarus until it was too late.
Even in Hades, he acted as if Lazarus was beneath him. He talks to Abraham about himself but never apologizes to Lazarus.
The dogs noticed Lazarus and had compassion on him – they licked his wounds.
Many of us live in bubbles. Suburban dwellers see only fellow suburbanites of similar socio-economic standing. City dwellers see only those in their high-end flats and condos.
Politicians don’t care about Lazarus. Lazarus doesn’t vote.
We don’t even notice Lazarus.
Until it is too late.
What does the Lord require of you? To do justly; love mercy; walk humbly.
In that you have done it to the least of these Jesus’ siblings, you have done it to Him.