Luke 16:19-21 (NIVUK)
19 ‘There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
As we approach Christmas, the Jesus we’re presented with in the carols is often a naive, innocent Jesus, who is gentle and mild and almost apart from and oblivious to the brokeness and injustice of life. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Jesus was fully aware of the fallen nature of the world we live in, indeed he can see it more clearly for what it is than we can. This parable, the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, is an example of his understanding. In these three short verses he captures the injustice and suffering that exists around us. Although there is much that is good, there is much that is brutal. It is only by looking it full on in the face, can something be done about it.
Father, help us to see more clearly life as it is, the highs and lows, the good and the bad, that we might begin to react appropriately to it, and may our cries of, ‘that’s not fair!’ be part of our worship before you.