Reflections: September 22, 2020
Tuesday of the 15th Week after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son." (1 Kings 17:13)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. How rude! Elijah the prophet met a widow and asked for a little something to eat. She had very little left and it was just enough for a last meal with her son. But Elijah insists she make him food first! How rude! Surprisingly, he is not being selfish. He's teaching her that God promises to take care of her. She prepared food for him and her little jars of oil and flour never ran out until the famine was over!
Do you give an offering at your church? An offering is a sacrifice on our part so that the pastor who takes care of us can be paid and the needs of the church be met: heat, air, electric, and so on. Our offerings make sure our pastor can take care of his family and the church can take care of those in need. So do you give something for an offering?
We don't give offerings because the Lord needs the money! We give offerings because others do: our pastor, the secretary, people in need, and so on. Giving an offering confesses what we believe about the Lord taking care of us. It says, "If I give up this bit of money, I am trusting the Lord will still take care of me and provide for me."
The widow in this story first sought the kingdom of God: She wanted to make sure the prophet was taken care of so he could preach. In doing so, she trusted that the Lord would take care of her. And He did! He always will take care of you, too, because you are His baptized, Body- and Blood-fed people. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Hence, all earthly treasure! Jesus is my pleasure; Jesus is my choice. Hence, all empty glory! Naught to me thy story Told with tempting voice. Pain or loss, Or shame or cross, Shall not from my Savior move me Since He deigns to love me. ("Jesus, Priceless Treasure" LSB 743, st. 4)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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