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, who lives and reigns . . .
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, who lives and reigns . . .
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, who lives and reigns . . .
Time in the Word
12–17 October 2015
12–17 October 2015
Monday, 12 October 2015—
Psalm 34:1–4; Antiphon, Psalm 34:18—The strange 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
Tuesday, 13 October 2015—
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. Oftentimes
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
Wednesday, 14 October 2015—
5:10–20—Many 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
Thursday, 15 October 2015—
portion of our reading through the book of Hebrews contains an exhortation and
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, 16 October 2015—
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.
Jesus predicts His trial, execution, and resurrection for the third time, while walking boldly to His death. Jesus goes to die the sinners' death, accepting the Law's penalty in our place. Faith looks to Christ crucified and risen and says, "for me!" Luther - "Who is this "me?" It is I, an accursed and damned sinner, who was so beloved by the Son of God that He gave Himself for me." (AE 26:176)
Saturday, 17 October 2015—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 ThingsLectionary summary on first page from LCMS Commission on Worship