Did you ever watch DuckTales (a late ’80’s Disney cartoon)? Scrooge McDuck has been on my mind this week. Uncle Scrooge had some truly epic adventures with his three nephews (Huey, Dewey, and Louie). More to the point, however, Uncle Scrooge was loaded. Not only did he have a sweet mansion, but he kept all of his money in a silo-looking vault attached to the house. Every week during the theme song, you’d see ol’ Scrooge dive into his pool of money and enjoy his riches. Sort of like this (from 0:25)…
Believe it or not, I’ve been thinking of Uncle Scrooge and his daily money swim this week in the context of pastoral ministry. Unfortunately, many Christians seem to be taking lessons from Scrooge’s attitude towards his money when it comes to how we treat the gospel. We have all the riches of God in Christ Jesus – inexhaustible riches, incomparable blessings. The gospel is a treasure – and yet too many of us treat the riches of gospel like it’s there just for us! We can and should enjoy the riches of God’s grace, but it can’t end there! We can’t keep it locked away in a vault for our own personal enjoyment! That’s about as antithetical to the nature of God’s grace as I can imagine.
We don’t have the treasure of the gospel merely to admire its glimmer. We’ve been given grace so that we might give grace. We’ve been shown mercy so that we might show mercy. We’ve been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ so that we can share that blessing with others. It’s out of the riches of Christ that we find our motivation and strength to go out and love, serve, share, bless, give, and generally live generously towards others!
Paul says it like this in Eph. 2 – “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins… But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:1, 4-10).
We’ve been given the immeasurable riches of God’s grace… not so that we have some Scrooge McDuck swim party – and in doing so make God’s grace really just about me – me – me. No, the riches of God in Christ should compel us out of our vault and into the world.