Ecclesiastes 5:13 – Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labour that he can carry in his hand.
When Jesus was hanging naked on the cross, the soldiers divided his last earthly remains. His mother, the beloved disciple, and others were close by, looking on. They were more concerned about Jesus than they were about what happened to his last earthly possessions. Their values are in marked contrast to those of the soldiers. Have we ever stopped to think of how John or Mary might have felt as they watched the soldiers divide Jesus' clothes? Did they care about these last earthly mementoes of his life?
When we go through a death situation, what are we concerned with? If we are the one who is dying, how tightly do we hang on to our possessions? Do we treat them as though they were one of our last sources of security, like the small teddy bear of a child? If we are the close family or friends, do we ever covet any of those things that must soon be divided?
The Preacher in Ecclesiastes reminds us that we heap up riches but do not know who shall gather them in. Jesus said that we should not worry about the things of this life, for our father in heaven knows that we need such things. Our focus is more properly on our love for God and others and the kingdom of heaven.
Can we let go of our pre-occupation with worldly goods and truly live the life of deep unconditional love? Can we love God and others, even as Jesus has loved us? All too often we fail the test. We need to remember that all too soon, what we gather will one day have to be dispersed. On that day, only the Christ-like love that we have shared and received will truly count.
Prayer: Eternal God of Love, help me to be clear minded about the values of life. Keep us from shallow thoughts and concerns and help us always to keep our eyes on your Kingdom, so that we might love as you have loved, all the days of our lives. Amen.