Reflections: September 12, 2021
The 15th Sunday after Trinity
By James Leistico
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life. (Matthew 6:25)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Right from the start, Jesus gets to the heart of our problems. It is a First Commandment issue: "You cannot serve God and money!" When greedy hearts try to prove Jesus wrong, they only deceive themselves. Their devotion to money and possessions stops them from fearing, loving, and trusting in God above all things. The worship of money is often an uncertain anxiousness that acts as though life is only good when I have what I consider enough stuff. The Large Catechism says, "Those who have nothing doubt and despair as if they knew of no god at all. The desire for wealth clings and sticks to our nature all the way to the grave."
The highest worship of God is faith, to look to Him in our time of need, to trust in Him with the confidence that He is a loving Father who knows what we need (6:32) in both body and soul. "The Lord will provide" (Genesis 22:14). Consider the lilies of the field. They do not have bank accounts nor insurance policies. They have to compete with weeds and rocks, drought and floods. And even when they do survive it all, their beauty lasts only a few days before their flowers fall. Despite their temporary and delicate nature, God clothes them with glory. You, however, He has created not to be temporary, but to live forever with Him. If He provides in such wondrous ways for the lilies, don't you think He will put even more effort into providing for you so that you arrive there? For you are worth more to Him than the lilies or the birds, so much so He gave up His own Son to have you.
Your worry over money is a waste. It does not produce anything good. It cannot even add one single second to the length of your life. But what you cannot do, God has done. He adds eternity to your short life through the death of Jesus. He baptismally clothes you with the robe of Christ's righteousness so that He doesn't see the ugliness of your doubts underneath. He gives you to eat of His Body and drink of His Blood shed for the forgiveness of your false beliefs. In His Son, you seek and find God's Kingdom and righteousness for you forever. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord, we implore You, let Your continual pity cleanse and defend Your Church; and because she cannot continue in safety without Your aid, preserve her evermore by Your help and goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the 15th Sunday after Trinity)
-Rev. James Leistico is the pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Windsor, ON.
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