Daily Feast Reflection (Thursday, 26 September)

Scripture: 1 Timothy: 6:6-19

Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time-he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

Reflection: In our own day, human trafficking serves as a poignant example the destructive pursuit of wealth. In the past fifteen years, as many as two million people have left their homes and entered into human slavery -- every year. The trafficking of person is estimated to net around $10 billion annually; the majority of these persons are forced into sex work. hard labor, or servitude. many suffer repeated physical and emotional forms of violence that threatens their very existence as humans. While Paul likely was not thinking junman slavery when he detailed the destruction wrought by a pursuit of wealth, the problem of human trafficking illustrates the point clearly: the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. By contrast, the love of God "who gives life to all things" affirms the real life of ourselves and of others.   Stephanie Mar Smith

Response: In what ways can we as a church become more aware of and participate in the eradication of  all forms of human trafficking?

Prayer: Lord, help me learn to balance the wealth I have with the needs of the world in such a way to become a responsible steward of what you have given me. Amen.