THE WEEK OF TRINITY XV – SUNDAY

LESSON: MATTHEW 6:24-34

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

In this Gospel we see how God separates the Christians from the heathen. The Lord does not offer this doctrine to the heathen because they do not accept it; this doctrine is given to Christians. But He does not regard those as His Christians who hear the Word only to learn and recite it by heart, like many of the religious do with the psalter.

The devil also hears the Word of God and the Gospel in this way; in fact, he knows it better than we do. He could also preach it just as well as we do if he wanted to do so. But the Gospel is a doctrine of such a kind that it always aims at becoming a living force in men’s lives. It must result in action, strengthen men, and comfort them, make them courageous and bold.

Therefore, those who hear the Gospel only to obtain an external knowledge of it, so that they may be able to discourse learnedly about the wisdom of God, should not be numbered among true Christians. The only real Christians are those who actually put into practice what the Gospel teaches. You will not find so many of these. We see many who are hearers of the Word but not so many who are doers.

May God grant us His grace that we may always become doers of His Word so that His Gospel does not remain only in our ears and on our tongues, but that it may really reach our hearts and then burst forth in active works of love to our neighbor.

SL 11:1614 (1-2, 35)

PRAYER: Lord God, heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for the precious gift of Your Word and Gospel in which You reveal all that it is necessary for us to know and believe for our faith and life as Christians. Bestow Your Holy Spirit upon us in rich measure that we never become merely hearers of Your Word, but actual doers of the same, for Christ our Savior’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, 5:102-117.