“My youngest son has the remarkable gift of laser-like focus. Whenever he is playing with legos or reading a book, the rest of the world falls away…” begins Rev. Dr. Kristin Adkins Whitesides, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Winchester, Virginia. She continues, “In our scripture today, Jesus tells the story of a man who was also blind and deaf to those around him…” Whitesides paints a picture for us of the parable in Luke 16:19-31. In Act One, there is a poor man outside the gate, flies buzzing around his head, dogs licking the sores on his legs. In contrast, inside the gate, there is a rich man dressed in velvet and linen in a gorgeous dining room, eating from a spread on the table. In Act Two, we see the two men’s fortunes reversed in the afterlife. The rich man begs for relief, but it is too late. We often focus on Act Two in this parable, the afterlife. However, what can we learn from the rich man in Act One? What could he have done differently? How can we respond differently?
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