THE WEEK OF TRINITY V – MONDAY

LESSON: LUKE 12:13-21

Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24

Paul gives a vivid description of what happens when men give way to unbelief (1 Timothy 6:6-10). The man who is solely bent on piling up earthly possessions and becoming rich falls into temptations and snares of the devil. This cannot be seen; it is something spiritual. If we could really see the damage that the devil does in spiritual things in the same degree that we can see the damage he does in bodily matters, we would really have something to preach about. For we have external evidence of how an unbelieving man keeps on scraping earthly property together, doing violence to every man so that he may have no opposition and stand alone in his scraping operations so that finally he may rely on what he has scraped together and say: “Now I have enough.”

What a mean and unfriendly thing this unbelief is! It does no one any good; it is friendly to no one; it considers nothing but its own advantage. It is certainly an accursed thing, this unbelief, refusing to trust God for the sake of our benefit and actually believing that, if we do not adopt all possible methods and procedures for ensuring our bodily welfare, even at the expense of our neighbor’s welfare, we will die of hunger.

SL 11:1306 (4-5)

PRAYER: Lord, You have shown us in very clear precept and example that we should never be greedy and covetous, but contented and generous. Fill our hearts with such trust in Your wonderful care and providence that we overcome all temptations to selfishness and use our blessings to help all in need, for Your name’s sake. Amen.

Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 4:131-140.