Years ago when I lived in California, the state lottery jackpot rose to fifty-five million dollars. Folks who had never bought tickets did then! The winning ticket was shared by a group of twenty coworkers who month after month contributed five dollars each to a pool to increase their odds of winning, and they agreed to share the pot if they did. That was shrewd. They figured out how to bend the odds to their advantage, and they persisted.
Jesus doesn’t commend get-rich-quick schemes, but he does commend shrewdness–the ability to size up a situation and get the most out of it. He points out (with a wry smile, I think) that worldly-oriented lottery players are often more insightful and organized than those called to further the mission of God.
Shrewd Christians size up their neighborhoods and get involved in what God is doing there. They agree that “church” is not a building; rather, it is people called by God to be the good news. They are innocent as doves but wise as serpents. Blessed are those who are shrewd for Jesus’ sake.
Jesus, bless us to see the world through your eyes and love our neighbors accordingly. Amen.