The lessons give us a picture of people in luxury, affluence, and leisure but without concern for the less fortunate. In the Gospel, the rich man (known to many as “Dives”) has no concern for the hungry man at his palace gates; the dogs have more compassion for Lazarus than he does. The Old Testament lesson shows us a people enjoying the height of prosperity but who have no concern for the future of the nation. In the Epistle lesson we are admonished not to be concerned about worldly possessions but about the attainment of spiritual values. This is driven home in the words of the hymn to the day “Lord, Thee I love with all my heart.” The theme of this day speaks to our American culture a people with more wealth comforts and leisure than any other nation in world history. Yet are many in our country still looking for contentment?
Collect for the Nineteenth Sunday of Pentecost: Keep, we pray You, O Lord, Your Church with Your perpetual mercy; and because without You we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
Father, You show Your almighty power in Your mercy and forgiveness. Continue to fill us with Your gifts of love. Help us to hurry toward the eternal life Your promise and come to share in the joy of Your kingdom. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen
Collect for Proper Twenty-one: O God, You are the strength of all who trust in You, and without Your aid we can do no good thing. Grant us the help of Your grace that we may please You in both will and deed; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.
Collect for Psalm 146: God of glory and power, happy indeed are those who have put their trust in You. Shine the brightness of Your light upon us, that we may love You always with a pure heart and praise Your forever; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer against 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, or Lord.
Monday, 19 September 2016—Psalm 119: 73-75 antiphon, Psalm 119:76—In the Introit for Sunday, we pray, Let Your steadfast love comfort me according to Your promises to Your servant. Christ will comfort us even in the midst of great testing and affliction. The Hebrew term for unfailing or steadfast love denotes befriending. It is an appeal to God’s unfailing love, His kindness and mercy which was demonstrated by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, 20 September 2016—Psalm 146 — The focus is on God, the hope and help of His people, utterly dependable, caring for all in need. God reigns. While I live I will praise God. I will sing praise to God while I have any being. The grand outburst of Hallelujahs, with which the book of Psalms comes to a climatic close, is carried over to the end of the Bible itself, and is echoed in the heavenly choirs of the redeemed (Revelation 19:1, 2, 4, 6).
Wednesday, 21 September 2016—Amos 6:1-7— Woe to the affluent who have no concern for the nation. Our Old Testament speaks of the American condition today in many respects. Like Israel of the 8th Century BC, American is a people of ease, comfort, luxury and affluence. It is a law of life that like causes produce like effects. American is in danger of the same fate as Israel: judgment, decline, and destruction. Who will sound the alarm as a watchman in the night? Will America take heed?
Thursday, 22 September 2016—1 Timothy 6:6-19— Timothy is charged to seek spiritual values. There are countless people who have no aim in life, no purpose, no reason for living. Others have low aim, such as the massing of world possessions. Some aim only to make as much money as possible, own at least one home, get a higher education, or climb the ladder of success.
Friday, 23 September 2016—Luke 16:9-31 — The parable of the rich man and Lazarus. It the parable we have a description of wealth and total depravity. This is a description of today’s world. On the one hand is America’s wealth giving us the highest standard of living in the history of the world. On the other hand, we have a third world of poverty and hunger. It could be that the so-called wealth, either nation or individual, is really the poor man as was the case in the parable. Americans may be the richest on earth, but they can be suffering from the poverty of abundance.
Saturday, 24 September 2016—1 John 4:19 - Sunday’s Hymn of the Day is Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart, (LSB #708). The Christian’s only focus is upon Christ. When we fear, love and trust in Him above all things then we are content. Read the words of stanza three. This is a powerful evening prayer one which has been prayed with many a Christian on their death bed. When we pray these words confidently we truly are at peace with God and with ourselves. “Lord, Let at last Thine angels come, To Abr’han’s bosom bear me home, That I may die un-fearing; And in its narrow chamber keep My body safe in peaceful sleep Until Thy reappearing. And then from death awaken me, That these mine eyes with joy may see, O Son of God, Thy glorious face, My Savior and my fount of grace. Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend, And I will praise thee without end.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Collect for Pentecost 17 from Lutheran Worship © Concordia Publishing House
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C by John Brokhoff © 1979 CSS Publishing Lima OH
For All the Saints A Prayer Book for and By the Church Vol. II © 1995 by the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use