Thursday after the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Hebrews 9:16-28 (NKJV)
16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
There was a man who had joked for years that he had been born with absolutely nothing, and that now, in his old age, he still had most of it left. He was hardworking but uneducated, and, in the world’s eyes, a man who could never catch a break. Still, he had provided for his family as well as he could. They may not have had much, but, with God’s help, they basically had what they needed.
At the time of his death there was nothing to bequeath, no earthly wealth to transmit to the next generation, no need for a last will and testament. But he had seen to it that his children were baptized, that they were brought to Church to hear the Word of God, and that they were further instructed in the faith so as to be admitted to the Lord’s Table. And in that his children received eternal riches that thieves cannot steal, that moth and rust cannot destroy.
By faith they became children of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:16-17), Who Himself was the heir of Abraham. They were given faith like Abraham, who had trusted God that, although at the time of the promise, without an heir, all the nations of earth would be blessed in his seed (Gen. 26:4).
We pray: I thank You, my heavenly Father, that through Holy Baptism I am a joint heir of life with Christ, Who died and yet lives. Grant me a willing spirit to suffer with Him, that I may also be glorified with Him and the saints who have gone before. Amen.