THE WEEK OF TRINITY XVI – WEDNESDAY
LESSON: 2 CORINTHIANS 9:10-15
O how abundant is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for those who fear thee, and wrought for those who take refuge in thee, in the sight of the sons of men! Psalm 31:19
In what happened to the widow at Nain, God lets us see what kind of God He is, how He regards us, and how we should regard Him.
This woman was the subject of two misfortunes. In the first place, she was a widow. This is misfortune enough for one woman. She is forlorn and alone, with no one to look to for any comfort. This is why God is often spoken of in Scripture as the God of widows and orphans.
Secondly, she has an only son who dies. This son should have been a consolation for her. But God intervenes and takes away her husband and her son. She would undoubtedly have preferred to lose her house and home, and even her own life, than this son and her husband.
God certainly makes some changes here. While her husband was alive, this woman failed to recognize what a gift a husband can be; when he died, she really recognized this for the first time. So also with her son. While he was hale and healthy, she did not recognize him as God’s good gift to her; but after he died, she really recognized for the first time what a treasure she had lost.
This is how matters stand with us. There are many people who begrudge the investment of ten florins in their child’s education. If the child dies, they suddenly change their mind and say, “Would to God that he was still alive! I would be prepared to spend hundreds of florins, anything, on him.”
SL 11:1649 (8)
PRAYER: Lord God, heavenly Father, provide us with open minds and hearts so that we always clearly and readily acknowledge the riches of Your goodness toward us and give You due thanks with grateful hearts, 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, 5:127-139.