Monday, September 5, 2011

Vacation Day 1: Are We Ever The Rich Man in Hell?

(For the next TWO WEEKS I'll be enjoying vacation with my family, so I will not be posting anything new here on the blog. Instead I am going to re-post the top 10, most viewed blogs from the past. Hope you (re)enjoy them, and maybe some new discussions will emerge.)

This week at our cohort gathering we discussed the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus.

It's amazing how many layers of this parable we discovered in our brief conversation.

For the rich man, an aspect of his hell seemed to be internal (not to be confused with eternal). The rich man stays in hell because he still views Lazarus as a servant (he asked for Lazarus to bring him water). He still views Lazarus as someone beneath him and hence the chasm that he can't get over.

We often view ourselves as the "Lazarus" in the story. Why? I don't know, probably because he is not the one in hades. We never see ourselves as the "goats" (matthew 25). But how many times are we actually the "Rich Man"?

It's hard for us to extend grace to those who have hurt us, but it is often those who have hurt us that are going through their own hell. And in those moments, it is sometime we who are on the other side of the gate with all the resources in the world to relieve them and yet we refuse.

So when we do this... When we refuse relief (Grace & Mercy) to those outside the gate, Will we not ultimately find ourselves in agony as well?

Grace and Peace,


Bill Sahlman said...

YES! Well said.

emergingjim said...

Excellent. It is so easy to see ourselves in the victimized position of biblical stories.
I'd love to hear some of the other ideas thrown out during that discussion!