THE WEEK OF TRINITY XIII – THURSDAY
LESSON: ROMANS 1:18‒25
“You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” Matthew 4:10
God allows us to love His creatures; that is why He created them and made them good. The sun is a fine creation of God; gold and silver and everything that is fair and beautiful quite naturally engender love in us. God readily permits us to love these creatures. But to cling to them and equate our love for them with our love for Him, this He neither will nor can tolerate. Indeed, it is His will that I should deny and forsake all if He wants me to do so, and that I should be satisfied even if I never saw the sun, money, or any of my property again.
Love of creatures must always stand a very long distance beneath love of Himself. Even as He is the supreme good, so He wants us to love Him in the highest manner before everything else. If He does not want me to love anything beside Himself, much less does He want anything to be loved above Himself, although both of these alternatives amount to the same thing.
Now, I believe, you can see what it means to love God with your whole heart, and your whole soul, and your whole mind. To love God with your whole heart is to love Him above all creatures. Although many creatures are quite lovable and please me well and I love them, I should still be fully prepared to disregard them and let them go for God’s sake, if God, my Lord, so wills it.
SL 11:1541 (13‒14)
PRAYER: We thank and praise You, heavenly Father, for all the good gifts of Your creation. Grant us the moderation and understanding to use these creatures according to Your will and for our neighbor’s benefit, in Christ’s name and for His 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, 5:17-35.