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So, have you sold what you own yet?

So, have you sold what you own yet?

From today’s gospel reading

“You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

Are we supposed to take this passage literally? If we aren’t supposed to take it literally, how exactly are we supposed to take it? These are the kinds of questions one asks one’s self listening to a sermon.

What did you preach about in church today? What did you hear? Feel free to share links to your sermon in the comments.


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Sara Miles

As long you treat money as something you can use to buy God’s approval––by tithing a certain percentage of your income, for example, by dutifully donating to the poor, by fulfilling a fair-trade contract of charitable giving––then your relationship to money remains idolatrous, no matter how much of it you give away.

Whole sermon here:


I think Michael Russell hit the nail squarely on the head. It’s not a universal commandment.

Bill Dilworth


Jesus is calling the rich man to die. Someone must die for inheritance to happen. That someone is the rich man. That someone is us.

Mike Marsh

Erik Campano

“It is hard to read passages like this and think Christianity is about a vague feeling of being spiritual. It´s not. It´s about the socioeconomic order, and its transformation into the Kingdom of God, a society characterized by truth telling, justice-doing, shalom, and love. Working for THAT can get you dispossessed –even tortured and killed.”

YES, YES, and YES. A lot of people reinterpret this scripture into something less literal, without ever having actually *tried* it — that is, given everything they have to the poor. To actually follow this suggestion — as difficult as it is particularly if you have dependents — is one of the few great acts of self-liberation. Nowadays, nobody models this more beautifully than the consecrated religious who take vows of poverty.

And kudos to you Juan for pointing out that living up to what Christ calls us to do can get us tortured and killed. True Christian martyrdom is something we rarely see (or at least, is rarely documented) in America today. But you don’t have to go far back — to MLK — to bear witness to what risking your life for the truth really means.

Mark 10:21 is a really radical challenge, and yes, prima facie socioeconomic. Bringing about the Kingdom of God will have to be a collective act of equalization of access to resources, and physical courage.

Erik Campano

Michael Russell

If we take this as a blanket commandment I think we miss the point. Jesus picks riches for this young man because he is possessed by them, not they by him. They live in a place in his life where God should be, even though he lives out the law.

What should be scary for us is to consider what we might be holding onto so tightly that Jesus might ask us to forgo it. The answer is likely different for everyone.

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