A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I Won the Powerball!

United Methodists are encouraged to not participate in lotteries because it runs counter to our belief that God's blessings are meant for all people, not just for that one "lucky" (actually "unlucky") winner.

When I woke up today and saw that no winner was drawn for the 500 million dollar jackpot, this tempting thought came to me:

But what IF you won that amount of money! Just think of the better car, the summer/fall/winter/spring mansions around the world, the fancy restaurants, the lucrative vacations, the expensive clothes, the even bigger TV, all the cream filled donuts in the world?????

As I awoke from my brief daydream, I turned to my morning scripture readings to start the day. Each of these scriptures point to something so much better than all the money in the world. Wow, does God have a sense of humor!

First Scripture Lesson: Psalm 103

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless God’s holy Name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all the benefits of the LORD.
Second Scripture Lesson: Deuteronomy 8:3
He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Third Scripture Lesson: Colossians 1:14
He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Fourth Scripture Lesson: John 6:48-51
I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.
After I read these scriptures which point to the many blessings that God offers to each person in the world and not to just one "lucky" winner, I realized, "I guess I really am a Powerball winner and I didn't have to buy one ticket."

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