William Willimon on Acts 5
I am preaching the ever dreaded passage on the death of Ananias and Sapphira this week: Acts 5:1-11.
At the risk of giving away some of the big points of my sermon on sunday, let me share this quote from Willimon,
“If money is some how linked to our idolatrous attempts to secure immorality for ourselves, it is also the occasion for much self-deceit. There is something quite natural about the lies of Ananias an Sapphira, for we all know the way we rationalize and excuse our own covetousness, acquisitiveness and greed. “I am not really that well off,” we say. “I have all I can do to just make ends meet.” “I worked hard for this and deserve it.” Our lies are a correlate of our materialism, for both our materialism and our self-deceit are our attempts to deal with our human insecurity, our human finitude, by taking matters into our own hands. Luther once called security the ultimate idol. And we have shown time and time again that we are willing to exchange anything – our family, our health, our church, the truth – for a taste of security. We are vulnerable animals who seek to security and establish our lives in improper ways, living by our wits rather than by faith. This “self securing mentality” is at the heart of all failures to live by faith in God.”
Whoah. I think i could jsut read that then sit back down again. (But I won’t).