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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Lazarus and the Rich Man

(Jesus said):“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ” ~ Luke 16:19-31

The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man by Dominico Fetti

One of the notable things about this parable is that it is the poor man, Lazarus, who is named. Not the rich man.

That isn't the case in our time and place, is it? We all know Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, etc, etc.

But who names the poor? How many of them do we know by name, reputation, or from their image in a photo?

The rich get named plenty. They get their glory from us - they get our votes, our purchases, our worship, our envy. Even when we say we don't like them, their names tumble from our lips and they get headspace from us or airtime in our conversations.

But for for Jesus things are upside down and backwards,

Jesus gives airtime to those he calls the least of these: those who the world ignores.

For them is God's glory.

Can we give them some of ours? Can we hear their names and their stories?

Help me to name and claim as kin your poorest children. Amen

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