THE WEEK OF TRINITY XV – SATURDAY
LESSON: JAMES 5:1-6
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20
There are sins that bring at least some kind of joy; we get something out of them, like gluttony and drunkenness, for example. The same can also be said for fornication; it does at times provide relaxation for the people who practice it. Even anger provides a certain amount of satisfaction. The same could be claimed for other vices as well.
But covetousness or greed always claims complete and full service from its devotees. It plagues and torments its victims ceaselessly and never provides anything in the shape of pleasure or joy. There the money lies in a heap and claims your full attention and service. It defies you to buy yourself even a pint of wine out of it. Rust comes along and eats away at it, but it must not be touched; that would make this god angry. And after protecting this god for so long, the servants of this god have no more than any poor beggar.
Who brings this about? God, the Lord, arranged matters in this way. They may well be plagued with a sickness which prevents them from eating. They may have something wrong with their digestive processes so that they have no taste for food. They have weak stomachs; their lungs and liver have packed up. They suffer from this or that sickness. Here something is lacking; something else there. They never have a really pleasant hour in which to enjoy eating and drinking.
This is how those who serve mammon fare. The true God puts Himself at the service of His own and serves men; mammon never does this. He wants to enjoy perpetual quiet and receive service from men.
SL 11:1618 (13-14)
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, in Your grace and mercy You supply us with all that we need for our bodies and lives. We thank and praise You for the riches of all Your goodness towards us, above all for all the blessings bestowed upon us in and through our Savior Jesus Christ. 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, 5:102-117.