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2nd August: Possessions

When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Matthew 19:22

The evening service had greatly impressed me. It was about 'possessions'. All through the sermon I was suffering qualms of conscience because some of my possessions seemed very dear to me. I thought of some of my precious books about my favourite sport rugby, the piano which helps me to be creative, our comfortable home with all the necessities of life and more. I wondered if perhaps I could be partially excused because I share most of my possessions. Then the picture of my wardrobe flashed before my eyes. Those clothes were not really being shared: two summer suits, two winter suits, several pairs of casual trousers, about 15 pairs of shorts, 20 pairs of socks, and so on.

As I shook hands with the minister on my way out, I said: 'You touched me on a raw spot tonight'. He replied: 'After my mother's death father lived alone. He was a fine old Christian who lived as near to Christ's teaching as he possibly could. When God called him home, the family went to his house to dispose of his worldly possessions. There was only one suit, his Sunday suit, hanging in the wardrobe'.

It makes one think of the story of Jesus and the rich young ruler. Whether this is the pattern for every Christian's life is a matter of conscience before God, but it warrants a lot of honest thinking. And although the context of the hymn 'Rock of Ages' is different, two lines in it may well bear on keeping our perspective right in life and death:

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling.

Further reading; Mt 19:16-22.


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