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SWAPPING PLACES – Covenant Community Church, Birmingham Alabama



          This Sunday is the 5th Sunday of Kingdomtide.  The assigned text is from Luke 16, Jesus’ story of “Lazarus and The Rich Man.”

In this familiar story, Lazarus was the rich man’s “neighbor in need.”  Lazarus lacked food to eat and the resources to even dress the sores on his body.  The rich man paid no attention to his need and certainly did nothing to help his neighbor in need.  However, in a dramatic reversal, according to Jesus, in the afterlife the shoe seems to be on the other foot.  The rich man is being tormented with no relief in sight as Lazarus is now resting in the bosom of Abraham.  The rich man begs Abraham to have Lazarus bring needed relief to his suffering; but it’s too late for that.  So, then the rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s house to warn his siblings against following his route of living in hopes of sparing them the suffering he now endures.

This story comes from this section of Luke’s Gospel, chapter 14–18, in which Jesus tells story after story, and parable after parable trying to get people and us today, to understand the importance of living out “IN THIS LIFE” the 2nd greatest commandment (love your neighbor as yourself) and the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.)  

These 2 timeless principles certainly need to be taught repeatedly in our world today.  There is an old saying that goes (and I paraphrase,) “Be careful who you step on climbing the ladder of success; because you just might meet them or need them when life hits and you find yourself on the way back down.”  The point is simple: Be careful how you treat others, or you may one day find yourself “SWAPPING PLACES.”   

Join us for worship this Sunday at Covenant in-person, by Zoom or Facebook Livestream, as we consider this story of Jesus in my sermon “SWAPPING PLACES,” based on Luke 16:19-31.”

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