Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 7, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 14:12-15 (NKJV)
14:12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
Don’t invite your friends or family to supper! That’s what Jesus told the Pharisees with whom He was dining on the Sabbath. He didn’t mean it as a permanent prohibition. He meant it as a lesson.
We all like to receive something in return for the nice things we do. We like to receive gifts from those to whom we give gifts. We like to be repaid, even if it’s only with a thank you card or with recognition or appreciation. And sometimes our sinful flesh gets the better of us, so that we fail to do good to those who aren’t likely to reciprocate. We fail to do good to those we deem unworthy of our service. Or we become angry when we don’t receive the recognition we think we deserve.
But Jesus teaches us in today’s lesson to do good to others who cannot repay us in any way, to give gifts without any hope of being repaid in this life. He urges us to be content with no earthly rewards at all, waiting patiently to be rewarded on the Last Day.
That takes faith—faith that the promised rewards will be there waiting for us in the next life. All we have now is the promise of Christ: the promise of the Father’s favor, freely given for Christ’s sake; the promise that He will freely give us a seat at the table with Him in the kingdom of Heaven; the promise that God sees and will reward in the next life all the good that His children do in this life.
We pray: Heavenly Father, grant us a firm faith to trust in Your promises, and give us opportunities to do good to all people, hoping to please You above all, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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