Sunday, September 11, 2016

Time in Word - Pentecost 18 - Proper 20

The Right Use of Money

We now turn to the money chapter from Luke’s Gospel. In dealing with today’s theme, we must consider next Sunday’s lessons. Both deal with our material possessions. For this coming week’s Gospel the parable of the unjust steward is put in the framework of the following verses, 1-13.

Alone the parable does not deal with the above over-all theme, but interpreted in the light of the following verses, the Gospel deals with the proper use of money. The Old Testament lesson deals more with how we get our money rather than how we use it. On the surface, the Epistle does not seem to deal with money at all, but a closer study shows that the implication is, if we pray for secular authorities, we shall have a society in which there can be economic justice and this the conditions described by Amos in the Old Testament would be prohibited.

Collect for the Eighteenth Sunday of PentecostO God without whose blessing we are not able to please You, mercifully grant that Your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and govern our hearts; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Collect for Proper TwentyO Lord, keep Your church in Your perpetual mercy; and because without You we cannot but fail, preserve us from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; 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 113Lord Jesus, surrendering the brightness of Your glory, You became mortal so that we might be raise from the dust to share Your very being. May the children of God, always bless Your name from the rising of the sun to its going down, for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.

Prayer for steadfast faithAlmighty God, our heavenly Father because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayer for likeness to ChristO God, by the patient suffering of Your only-begotten Son You have beaten down the pride of the old enemy. Now help us, we humbly pray, rightly to treasure in our hearts all that our Lord has of His goodness borne for our sake that following His blessed example we may bear with all patience all that is adverse to us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Monday, 12 September 2016Psalm 119:137-140, 142; antiphon, Psalm 119:144—In the Introit for Sunday, we pray, Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live. The Lord and His law is righteous. As we cling to God’s Word and follow it we then shall live before God in righteousness, innocence and blessedness.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016Psalm 113 — Psalms 113 – 118 are a group of psalms linked traditionally with the Jewish feasts of Tabernacles [Harvest] and Passover. In Jewish homes Psalm 113 and 114 are sung before the Passover meal. In the psalm for the week we encounter God. He is above and beyond His creation, yet closely concerned for the humblest of His people. This is an apt description of God. This first song of praise begins and ends with the word “Hallelujah”, which means praise. Praise God forever.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016Amos 8:4-7— God promises never to forget the rich persons’ oppression of the poor. Does it matter how we get our money? Should a Christian be glad for his money and not ask questions how it was made/ Can a Christian in good conscience accept money derived from pornography, prostitution, or trafficked drugs? Should the church have investments in countries where civil rights are denied? In Amos’ day the people are rich but for all the wrong reasons. We still live in a world where the rich get richer and the get poorer. What is the answer to all this? The word of the Lord through Amos is the answer. The kind of wealth God condemns consists of 1. Greed – vs. 5a - They cannot wait for the holy days to be over that they can make more money. Compare today’s commercialization of holy days: Sunday, Christmas, Easter. 2. Dishonesty – vs.6a – Short weights: today’s false advertising. 3. Enslaving people – vs.6a – Today we are making people slaves to debt by over-purchasing. 4. Inferior products – vs. 6b – “Refuse of the wheat;” compare today’s scandal of overseas’ shipment of dirty wheat.

Thursday, 15 September 20161 Timothy 2:1-5— Paul urges prayer for all people, especially rulers, that we may live in peace. Paul talks about the hands of prayer. In recent years, there is a growing practice in some churches for people to raise their hands while praying, or some pastors hold out their hands with upraised palms when leading the people in prayer.

In our Epistle Paul urges us to pray for all people, especially those in high positions, that we may have that kind of world in which the gospel can flourish. Your hands in prayer are lifted hands – lifted up to the Source of our help, our Lord and Savior Jesus. Your hands in prayer are open hands – opened by faith to receive what we pray for. Your hands in prayer are holy hands – free from hatred and anger; filled with forgiving love.

Friday, 16 September 2016Luke 16:1-15— The parable of the unjust steward. People need guidance on how to handle their money. Is it a virtue to be poor and a sin to be rich? Should a Christian despise money? Isn’t the love of money the root of all evil? In our Gospel lesson for Sunday Jesus has advice about money. He says that money can be your god. For a disciple this is an impossible situation, for no one can serve two gods. Trying to love two is impossible to do! Should a Christian then not strive to accumulate possessions? Where do you draw the line that money will not be in reality your god? John Wesley suggests a Christian should 1. Get all the money you can. 2. Save all the money you can. 3. Give all the money you can.

Saturday, 17 September 20161 John 3:16-18 - Sunday’s Hymn of the Day is We Give Thee But Thine Own, (LSB #781). Here is the definition of love. It is found in a person. It is found in an action. Jesus laid down His life for us. We in turn love and serve our neighbor. Actions speak louder then words. Thus John can say “If anyone has material possession and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? The faith is taught and it is caught. May we in love befriend and serve our neighbor.

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

The etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Luke 16:1-9 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England. © Wikimedia Commons afreely licensed media file repository

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