True happiness and Wealth. Who would you rather be – Lazarus or the Rich Man?

Luke 16 19-31


Lazarus and the rich manJesus told a story about Lazarus who was covered in sores and in a lot of pain. He was poor and hungry. The rich man, was dressed in rich purple. Purple cloth was extremely expensive in Jesus’ day. Only Kings and rich people wore it. He lived in luxury. Yet he had no compassion. Lazarus sat begging hoping that the rich man would take pity on him. But every day he passed him and didn’t even offer him the crumbs off the table, in fact he probably didn’t even see him.

When they both died Jesus says the angels carried Lazarus to heaven where he would no longer be in any pain. The rich man went to Hades where he was in agony, like Lazarus had been on earth.

He begged for help from Lazarus but Abraham told him – it was too late. He was being treated like he treated others on earth.

So, how do we treat others?


The rich man had everything – or did he?

God wants us to be happy, he wants us to be successful but does being successful mean losing our compassion, our generosity, our love and care for others?

God wants us to be rich and successful but not earthly riches – God wants us to have an abundance of spiritual riches – Love, hope, forgiveness and eternal life. He wants us to love one another as he loved us.

If you keep looking over the fence at someone else’s life thinking what they have is better, you forget what you actually have. You forget to thank God for the gifts that you already possess.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.

Think about this for a minute – if you got the latest X-box game that you played on a large screen and you told people at school, and they all wanted to be friends with you and want to be invited to your house. It would make you popular at school. But would those people want to be friends with you if you didn’t have the game? Would they be there for you if something awful happened?

Probably not.

True friends are those that you can share your hopes and your dreams with. Those that stand by you through good times and bad times. Those that if you fall over they would pick you up not walk past or laugh at you.

They are the people who possess spiritual gifts – they are true and genuine people who are filled with the true riches that God wants to have, and that lead to true friendship and happiness.

There is a prayer that would be good for children to have maybe as a book mark.

It’s called the Serenity prayer – you can find a full version of the prayer by clicking here


The Serenity Prayer


God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

As it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His Will;

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next. Amen.


This prayer offers ask for serenity (calmness) courage and wisdom – spiritual riches to help us gain a happy peaceful life.

If you want to know more about the prayer, click here

This reading is a warning to us.. to remember that to live a happy life doesn’t mean to be rich with money, as the richest man can buy anything but true friendship, happiness or eternal life.

Who would you rather be? The rich man or Lazarus?



Michelle
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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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