Debts Are Tossed

Having Words with Jesus

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

Worship needs a vision that looks first to God and then to community within and then to the world beyond the walls. We are driven by the question, “How do we share this gift of faith?” We are constantly seeking ways to be a witness to the treasure we have found, to the joy we live.

Luke 16:1-13, NIRV

The Story of the Clever Manager

Jesus told his disciples another story. He said, “There was a rich man who had a manager. Some said that the manager was wasting what the rich man owned. So the rich man told him to come in. He asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Tell me exactly how you have handled what I own. You can’t be my manager any longer.’

“The manager said to himself, ‘What will I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig. And I’m too ashamed to beg. I know what I’m going to do. I’ll do something so that when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’

“So he called in each person who owed his master something. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

“‘I owe 900 gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.

“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill. Sit down quickly and change it to 450 gallons.’

“Then he asked the second one, ‘And how much do you owe?’

“‘I owe 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ he replied.

“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill and change it to 800 bushels.’

“The manager had not been honest. But the master praised him for being clever. The people of this world are clever in dealing with those who are like themselves. They are more clever than God’s people. I tell you, use the riches of this world to help others. In that way, you will make friends for yourselves. Then when your riches are gone, you will be welcomed into your eternal home in heaven.

“Suppose you can be trusted with something very little. Then you can also be trusted with something very large. But suppose you are not honest with something very little. Then you will also not be honest with something very large. Suppose you have not been worthy of trust in handling worldly wealth. Then who will trust you with true riches? Suppose you have not been worthy of trust in handling someone else’s property. Then who will give you property of your own?

“No one can serve two masters at the same time. Either you will hate one of them and love the other. Or you will be faithful to one and dislike the other. You can’t serve God and money at the same time.”

Scrabble letter



I wonder if you had to make a choice this morning. (Allow children to provide answers.) I would guess that you even have had to make a choice already today. Did you have to choose what clothes to wear? Did you choose what you had for breakfast this morning? We may even have to choose if we want to pay a certain price for something at the store or wait until we find it on sale or priced lower. Yes, we certainly have a lot of choices in life.

Today’s words of Jesus are about choices. Jesus tells us the story of a clever manager. This manager asks all who work for him to think about the choices in life. If we think about it, we must pay for things in this life.

Jesus told one story about a man who was going to lose his job. So, before he did, he changed some price tags and told people to pay less than they were supposed to. In this case, the reason Jesus told this story is that he did not want people to become too worried about money. The clever manager from the story did what was most important. By switching prices on items, he got the rich man what he could.

Jesus reminded the people who heard this story that everything we have in life is a gift from God and that nothing should ever come between us and God. Jesus reminds us that in this life, “stuff” can come and go. Jesus wants to make sure that when we have things, we use those things wisely. Whether it is money or other things, we should always remember that the things we have are all gifts from God!

What do you think is the most important thing? (Allow children to respond.) That is right, it’s God who gives us everything. If we think about it, we are just borrowing things, so we want to make sure we take care of those things!

Today’s Scrabble letter is the letter “A.” What is the first letter in the alphabet? That is right, we can’t even begin to say the entire alphabet without the most important letter, the one that we begin with. This letter “A” reminds us of the most important letter, just as Jesus’ words remind us of the most important thing in life: God!


God of love, remind us of the most important thing—you! You have given each of us special abilities. Provide us with the opportunity to show how much we love you by sharing our talents and time with others. Help us to always keep the most important thing as the most important thing. Amen.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

In This Series...

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes