I don’t know the first thing about investing. Hedge funds, stocks, bonds, having a diversified portfolios, I’m better at BINGO and pull tabs. Everyone wants to secure a future, to have a retirement, to not have to worry about finances so that as they are settled and not working they can simply live the good life. The thing is no matter how much or how little we put away for safe keeping we never know what could happen at any given moment that will change the way we live forever.
Ginger Sprouse was a successful business owner and entrepreneur who had life set. She enjoyed her comfortable lifestyle in Houston, Texas and would find herself driving by the homeless in her town with a gaze of disgust. She realized that this wasn’t a good thing and wanted to change her attitude. One day on her way to work she passed a man she had seen at least a hundred times before, but this time she did something different. She pulled over and asked the guy his story and found out that he was left homeless after his mother left him stranded in the middle of the night. She listened and went about her business. Soon they developed a bit of relationship as she would see him everyday, they would chat if they could and life would go on. That was until one cold December night when Ginger thought of this youth sleeping out on the streets by himself and after asking her husband’s permission she hoped back in her car drove to his spot, picked him, and brought him home to crash at her house. And that’s when Victor Hubbard was given a second family. Now, a year later Victor continues to live with the Sprouse’s and the three of them couldn’t be happier.
Solomon’s prayer to God from our first reading was to: give your servant an understanding heart. The humble Solomon recognized his inadequacy in knowing how to really serve God’s people and he desired above all else to have the wisdom to act with divine grace rather than his own human weakness. What this looks like in 2017 is maybe something a little like Ginger’s story when we begin to open hearts and our lives up to investing not merely in our own security down the road, but by giving in to the call of God in the here and now. The pearl of great price, the treasure buried in the field is not a Roth IRA but a lifestyle where we are willing to trade our future, our plan for what we think the good life is for His adventure of fullness we can’t possibly fathom. The best life only comes when we conform ourselves to the image of Christ our Savior—it’s then when as St. Paul says all things work for the good because we are focused on loving God and not padding our retirement. Together we can do amazing things, as a parish we should dream big about serving God’s people. If Solomon who was admittedly young and didn’t know how to act became the wisest man to ever walk the earth other than Jesus, so too can we place our hopes into the care of God and not be disappointed.
My brothers and sisters let us invest in a future together one filled with the prosperity of living the faith with joy and love, one of building his kingdom here and now by a way of being generous with people, with the church, and most of all with our relationship with the God of providence who has spared no expense to make it known that we are the pearl of his great price.