THE WEEK OF TRINITY XV – TUESDAY

LESSON: PSALM 37:1-11

“Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Matthew 6:24

You will find very few people who do not sin against this Gospel (Matthew 6:24-34). The Lord pronounces a very strict judgement here, and it is alarming to hear Him make this judgement which might very well apply to us. No one likes admitting it. No one is very pleased to hear someone telling us that we hate and despise God and are, in fact, His enemies. Almost all of us, on being asked if we loved God and were attached to Him would reply, “Yes, I love Him.” But this Gospel seems to suggest that we all hate God and despise Him in our love of mammon and our attachment to it.

God certainly puts up with such a mixed state of affairs in regard to our service of Himself. He bides His time with much patience. But when He deems it fitting, He can also intervene in a very drastic manner sooner than we expect it. He who loves his money and property and clings to it with strong attachment must hate God; it cannot be otherwise. Jesus places two alternatives alongside of each other here which are mutually hostile and concludes: if you love one of these two and become attached to it, you must hate the other one and despise it.

Therefore, no matter how pleasantly one lives here on this earth, clinging to one’s property, in such a case there must be hatred of God; it cannot possibly be otherwise. Contrariwise, he who is not attached to money and property in this way loves God. This is certain.

SL 11:1615 (5)

PRAYER: Lord, give us, in all the days of our earthly pilgrimage, a proper understanding and appreciation of the most important priorities in our life of service in Your kingdom. Let us never become slaves of mammon but ever remain Your true servants, in and through Jesus Christ our Savior. 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.