THE WEEK OF TRINITY XVI – THURSDAY
LESSON: PSALM 119:121-128
“I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.” John 14:18
The common lesson taught in all the Gospels is that we should learn from them what kind of God we have. In this week’s Gospel (Luke 7:11-17), the point that is made quite clear is that God forsakes no one. And so, He lets this widow see once again what kind of God she has. When she is forlorn and without a husband or son, Christ demonstrates to her that He is still at her side and says to her in effect, “Learn to believe and trust in God. Recognize Him to whom death and life are both alike. Be brave-hearted and courageous. Do not weep; there is no need for that.”
Then Jesus steps up, awakens the dead man, and gives him to his mother.
These and similar miracles are recorded in God’s Word that we may learn in our hearts what attitude to adopt over against God and what we should expect from Him. This woman had certainly made up her mind that she had lost her son and that it was impossible for her to receive him back again. Even if someone had assured her that within an hour her son would be alive again, she would have regarded it as impossible and declared, “It is more likely that the heavens will collapse than that my son should live again.” Before she has time to look about her, God intervenes and does what she had never even dared to regard as a possibility and restores her son to life.
Why does God follow such a course? He allows a person to fall into such danger and fear that there is no longer any hope at all of counsel or help. But it is not His intention to lead us to despair. He wants us to put our faith and trust in Him alone who can bring forth a possibility from an impossibility, something out of nothing.
SL 11:1651 (10-11)
PRAYER: As far as we are concerned, O God, You are never far off but ever ready to help us, ever at our side and along all our paths and ways. Continue to support us with Your boundless grace, in and through 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, 5:127-139.