THE WEEK OF TRINITY XV – THURSDAY
LESSON: PSALM 49:16-20
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44
The world cannot hide its unbelief in its gross public sins. I can plainly see that it has more love for a florin than it has for Christ and all His apostles. Even if the latter were all present and preached in person, it would not change the world’s attitude so much.
I, too, can hear the Gospel proclaimed daily, but it does not necessarily benefit me daily. But it can also happen, after I have heard the Gospel for a whole year, that the Holy Spirit visits me with a favorable hour. If I obtain such an hour, I do not merely obtain five hundred florins; the riches of the whole world is mine. What would I not have if I had the Gospel? I would receive God, who is the maker of silver and gold and everything that is on this earth. For I have received a Spirit of such a kind that through Him I know that I will be preserved forever. This is far more than having a church full of florins.
See whether our heart is not a rogue full of wickedness and unbelief! If I were a real Christian, I would say, “At the hour when the Gospel comes, a hundred thousand florins, to be sure infinitely more, come to me.” When I have this treasure, I have everything in heaven and on earth. But to this treasure one must devote one’s whole service; one cannot serve God and mammon. Either you must love God and hate money, or you must hate God and love money. This is how matters stand and not otherwise.
SL 11:1616 (8)
PRAYER: O God, guard and defend us especially against the idolatry of loving earthly things, wealth, happiness, success, and honor, more than we love You and the blessings of Your Gospel. Give us the Holy Spirit of truth and understanding that we may always treasure the blessings which You have conferred on us in Your Gospel, 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.