THE WEEK OF TRINITY VII – WEDNESDAY
LESSON: PSALM 145:14-21
He has filled the hungry with good things. Luke 1:53
In the discussion on this Gospel of the feeding of the four thousand, we have said quite a lot about entrusting our bodily welfare to God and God’s assurances to us that we will never lack the temporal blessings we need.
We also want to say something about the spiritual blessings which we need, more particularly in the face of death. When we have death before our eyes, we will find that we would rather continue to live; we will see hell before us and would much rather have heaven; we will be conscious of God’s judgement and would much rather have His grace. In short, we will see nothing of what we would like to have before our eyes.
Against death, hell, and God’s judgement no creature can come to our help, but, if I have faith, I say to myself, “Faith is a basis on which I obtain what I do not see; if I believe, nothing can harm me. Even though I see nothing before me but death, hell, and God’s judgement, I must pay attention to none of these, but wholly believe that God, by virtue of this assurance and not through my own merits, will give me grace, salvation, and life.”
This is what it means to cling to God in true faith. This is pictured in the living example of the four thousand people who clung to God with this faith alone. They were sure that God would feed them and refused to be side-tracked by any sophistries of human reason.
SL 11:1370 (11-12)
PRAYER: Comfort us with Your gracious promises and assurances, heavenly Father, in the days of our pilgrimage here on earth, but especially also when death comes upon us. Let us depart this life without any of the uncertain props of human reason, trusting only and solely in Your grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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, 4:202-210.