Monday, October 5, 2009

Time in the Word - Pentecost 19 - Proper 23

The theme for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost is The Root of Evil. You will sometimes hear a person say ‘Money is the root of all evil.’ Usually it is said in a judgmental tone, used to condemn another. But such a one doesn’t quote Scripture correctly, for the Bible does not say that money is the root of all evil, but ‘the love of money is the root of all evil.’ (1 Timothy 6:10)

All of next Sunday’s readings exhort us not to depart from the Lord, but to remain faithful to Him. Oftentimes, not only the cares of this world, but the things of this world divert our attention from the Lord.

The sin of the rich young man in next Sunday’s Gospel reading was not that he had great riches, but that those riches were the most important thing to him. A Christian who is wealthy need not be ashamed of his wealth, for it is a gift from God, but he must not let his wealth rule him. He must realize that he is but a steward of the gifts God gives, and must use those gifts in a manner pleasing to God.

Monday, 5 October 2009—Psalm 112:3–6; Antiphon, Psalm 112:1—Sunday’s Introit tells of the blessedness of the man who fears the Lord and delights in His commandments. This man delights especially in the First Commandment, You shall have no other gods. He fears, loves, and trusts in God above all things, especially earthly things. Thus, he is truly wealthy, for he possesses wealth that is far greater than material things; he has the righteousness of God that comes by faith.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009—Psalm 90:12–17—Psalm 90 is a psalm written by Moses, and is a great comfort in times of sadness. It starts out with a confession that the Lord abides with us always: Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Verses 12–17 are a prayer for the continuation of God’s favor, and the wish that He would carry out His work of salvation and bless His people’s undertakings to that end.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009—Amos 5:6–7, 10–15—The prophet Amos lamented over the Israelites, who had turned their back on the Lord. Here the Lord exhorts the people through His prophet: Seek the Lord and live. He judges them for delighting in material things—houses of hewn stone and pleasant vineyards—but taking advantage of the poor and afflicting the righteous. Again they are exhorted, Seek good and not evil, that you may live.

Thursday, 8 October 2009—Hebrews 3:12–19—This portion of our reading through the book of Hebrews also contains an exhortation, that the hearers not be like the Israelites of old, who rebelled against God. No person, on his own, can fully withstand temptation. But God has given us His Word and Sacraments to keep us strong in the faith, and He also provides what our Confessions call the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren (SA III, IV). Therefore, we Christians exhort one another, that none of us may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Friday, 9 October 2009—Mark 10:17–22—The rich young man was off in his thinking from the very start, when he asked, What must I do to inherit eternal life? Inheriting eternal life is not a matter of our doing; it is a gift of grace. Jesus tried to show the man that he could not earn his salvation, by directing him to the commandments. Yet, the young man persisted in his self-righteousness by proclaiming that he had kept them all from his youth.

Still, Jesus looked on him with love and compassion, as a wayward sheep. He directs the man to the First Commandment, by asking him to give up all he had. This young man loved the things of the world more than the things of God, and so he went away sorrowful.

How can any person enter the Kingdom of God? Not on his own merits, for with man it is impossible…but all things are possible with God.

Saturday, 10 October 2009—Sunday’s hymn of the day, Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower (LSB 694) is a hymn of resolute determination to love God above all things, not of our own selves, but prayerfully asking, Permit me nevermore to stray (v. 4).

Collect for Pentecost 19Lord Jesus Christ, whose grace always precedes and follows us, help us to forsake all trust in earthly gain and to find in You our heavenly treasure; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Written by Pr. Jeffrey Keuning who serves St. John and Zion Lutheran Churches in Dexter and Casey IA

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