By the Voluntary Poverty of Christ,
We Enter the Kingdom of God
We Enter the Kingdom of God
To love and trust in earthly wealth is vanity. For nothing of this earth will last forever, nor can any of it grant eternal life (Eccl. 5:10). But the one who trusts in God is “occupied with joy in his heart” and is able to sleep in peace, “whether he eats little or much,” because he knows that the “days of his life” are “the gift of God” (Eccl. 5:12, 18–20). The person who trusts in riches cannot sleep, because he “shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand” (Eccl. 5:15). Therefore, it is difficult “for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 20:23). Indeed, it is impossible for man, and yet, “All things are possible with God” (Mark 20:27). Thus, the Rich Man, Jesus Christ, has made Himself poor and has gone through “the eye of a needle,” through death and the grave, “to enter the kingdom of God” on our behalf (Mark 20:24–25). He is the “great High Priest who has passed through the heavens” (Heb 4:14), so that we may now enter His Sabbath rest by faith in His forgiveness (Heb. 4:3–9).
Collect for Pentecost 21—O God, Your divine wisdom sets in order all things in heaven and on earth. Put away from us all things hurtful and give us those things that are beneficial for us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer for deliverance from the love of money: Almighty God, heavenly Father, You have called us to be Your children and heirs of Your gracious promises in Christ Jesus. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may forsake all covetous desires and the inordinate love of riches. Deliver us from the pursuit of passing things that we may seek the kingdom of Your Son and trust in His righteousness and so find blessedness and peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Prayer for the proper use of wealth: Almighty God, all that we possess is from Your loving hand. Give us grace that we may honor You with all we own, always remembering the account we must one day give to Jesus Christ, our Lord,
Prayer for responsible leaders: O merciful Father in heaven, from You comes all rule and authority over the nations of the world for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do well. Graciously regard Your servants, those who make, administer, and judge the laws of this nation, and look in mercy upon all the rulers of the earth. Grant that all who receive the sword as Your servants may bear it according to Your command. Enlighten and defend them, and grant them wisdom and understanding that under their peaceable governance Your people may be guarded and directed in righteousness, quietness, and unity. Protect and prolong their lives that we with them may show forth the praise of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Prayer in time of drought: O God, most merciful Father, without Your care and preservation all things wither and die. Open the windows of heaven and send bountiful rain on us to revive and renew the land. Graciously hear our prayer that we may praise and glorify Your name forever and ever; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Monday, 15 October 2012—
circumstances of this psalm are found in 1 Sam 21:10–15. David, in a
moment of weakness of faith, had sought protection from Saul in a foreign king,
rather than trusting in the Lord. When he realized his sin, he faked insanity
and then wrote this psalm which proclaims the truth that true deliverance is to
be found only in the Lord. Neither riches nor earthly power can deliver us from
our circumstances, only the Lord.
Tuesday, 16 October 2012—
Psalm 119:9–16— Psalm 119, the longest of the psalms, is a hymn of praise to the Word
of God. This portion sings of the blessings of storing up God’s Word in our
hearts. Ofttimes our children think it drudgery to memorize scripture
passages; it is not until many years later that they recognize the blessing of
knowing these nuggets of truth. We should all treasure the Word of God and delight
in it as much as all riches.
Wednesday, 17 October 2012—
years ago, a reporter asked billionaire John D. Rockefeller, “How much is
enough?” His famous reply: “Just a little bit more.” This passage from King
Solomon, who possessed wealth of wisdom that surpassed his great wealth of
riches, shows the futility of such thinking. Riches can be a blessing, but if
they are allowed to control a person, they become a curse. Trusting in money
more than in the One who provides the material blessings is idolatry.
Thursday, 18 October 2012—
Hebrews 4:1–13—This portion of our reading through
the book of Hebrews contains an exhortation and a warning. We are exhorted to
seek the true rest of the Lord, while warned not to make the mistake of the
rebellious people of Israel, who hardened their hearts against the Lord, and
did not enter into His rest.
Friday, 19 October 2012—
Mark 10:23–31—Sunday’s Gospel is a continuation of
last week’s. After the rich young man went away sorrowful, Jesus takes the
opportunity to educate His disciples in the barrier that great wealth poses to
one’s salvation. The temptation is to trust in the riches, rather than the
Bestower of them. In fact, it is impossible, not only for the wealthy, but for anyone
to earn His salvation by any means, even good works. Who can be saved?
they ask. Who, indeed? No can, if he relies on himself. It is only by God’s
grace that anyone can be saved, for all things are possible with God.
Saturday, 20 October 2012—Sunday’s hymn of the day is Jesus, Priceless Treasure (LSB #743). It is a great hymn of faith, trusting in Jesus in spite of all trials and tribulations, sadness and trouble. Written in 1641, it soon made its way into most hymnals, being paired with a strong melody, one of the finest German Lutheran chorales.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Riojas © Higher Things
Lectionary summary on first page from LCMS Commission on Worship
This week’s Time in the Word written By Pr. J Keuning servicing parishes in Dexter and Casey, IA