Time in the Word
4-9 October 2031
Preparation for next week, Proper 22
The theme for the Twentieth 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, 4 October 2021—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, 5 October 2021—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, 6 October 2021—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, 7 October 2021—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, 8 October 2021—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, 9 October 2021—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 20— Enlighten our minds, O God, by the Spirit who proceeds from You, that, as Your Son has promised, we my be led into all truth.
Collect for Proper 23 – Lord Jesus Christ, whose grace always precedes and follows us, help us to forsake all trust in earthly gain and to find in Your our heavenly treasure; for You live and reigns with the Father rand the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen
Prayer to resist 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, our Lord. Amen.
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. Amen.
Prayer for grace to love and serve God: O God, through the grace of Your Holy Spirit You pour the gifts of love into the hearts of Your faithful people. Grant Your servants health both of mind and body that they may love You with their whole heart and with their whole strength perform those things that are pleasing to You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for agriculture: Almighty God, You bless the earth to make it fruitful, bringing forth in abundance whatever is needed for the support of our lives. Prosper the work of farmers and all those who labor to bring food to our table. Grant them seasonable weather that they may gather in the fruits of the earth in abundance and proclaim Your goodness with thanksgiving; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.