Tuesday of Easter 6

1LORD, you were favorable | to your land;*
         you restored the fortunes of | Jacob.

2You forgave the iniquity of your | people;*
         you covered | all their sin.

3You withdrew | all your wrath;*
         you turned from your hot | anger.

4Restore us again, O God of our sal- | vation,*
         and put away your indignation | toward us!

5Will you be angry with us for- | ever?*
         Will you prolong your anger
to all gener- | ations?

6Will you not revive | us again,*
         that your people may re- | joice in you?

7Show us your steadfast love, | O LORD,*
         and grant us your sal- | vation.
         —Psalm 85:1–7

Additional Psalm: Psalm 18

Old Testament Reading: Numbers 9:1–23
The Passover Celebrated

1And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2“Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it.” 4So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. 5And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did. 6And there were certain men who were unclean through touching a dead body, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day, and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. 7And those men said to him, “We are unclean through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing the LORD’s offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?” 8And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you.”

9The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10“Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If any one of you or of your descendants is unclean through touching a dead body, or is on a long journey, he shall still keep the Passover to the LORD. 11In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight they shall keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break any of its bones; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it. 13But if anyone who is clean and is not on a journey fails to keep the Passover, that person shall be cut off from his people because he did not bring the LORD’s offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. 14And if a stranger sojourns among you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its rule, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native.”

The Cloud Covering the Tabernacle

15On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. 16So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. 17And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped. 18At the command of the LORD the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the LORD they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not set out. 20Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the LORD they remained in camp; then according to the command of the LORD they set out. 21And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out. 22Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. 23At the command of the LORD they camped, and at the command of the LORD they set out. They kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by Moses.

New Testament Reading: Luke 16:1–18
The Parable of the Dishonest Manager

1He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

10“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

The Law and the Kingdom of God

14The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

16“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. 17But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

Divorce and Remarriage

18“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

Make a reck’ning! Thund’rous word,
Which e’en rocky cliffs split open,
Word by which my blood grows frigid!
Day of reck’ning! Soul, go forth!
Ah, thou must God make repayment
Of his blessings, life and body.
Make a reck’ning! Thund’rous word!

All is but borrowed wealth
That I through out my life am holding;
Soul, being, will and blood
And post and rank, all by my God are given;
They are mine to care for
And ever faithfully to manage,
From lofty hands received in trust.
Ah! Oh alas! I shake
Whenever I my conscience enter
And then in my accounts so many errors witness!
I have both day and night
The many things which God hath lent me
Indiff’rently consumed!
How can I thee, O God of right, escape then?
I cry aloud and weep:
Ye mountains, fall! Ye hills, conceal me now
From God’s own wrathful judgment
And from the flash of his own countenance!

Principal and interest also,
These my debts, both large and small,
Must one day be reckoned all.
All for which I’m yet indebted
Is in God’s own book now written
As in steel and adamant.
But yet, O frightened heart, live and despair thou not!
Step gladly ’fore the court!
And if thy conscience should convict thee,
Thou must be here constrained to silence;
Behold thy guarantor,
He hath all debts for thee released!
It is repaid and fully wiped away
What thou, O man, thy reck’ning art still owing;
The lamb’s own blood, O love most mighty!
Hath all thy debt now canceled
And thee with God hath settled.
It is repaid, thy balance cleared!
And meanwhile,
Since thou know’st
That thou a steward art,
Thus be concerned and ever mindful
That thou make prudent use of Mammon
To benefit the poor;
Thus shalt thou, when both time and life have ended,
In heaven’s shelter rest secure.

Heart, break free of Mammon’s fetters,
Hands now, scatter good abroad!
Make ye soft my dying pallet,
Build for me a solid house,
Which in heaven ever bideth
When earth’s wealth to dust is scattered.

Make me strong with thy Spirit’s joy,
Heal me with thine own wounding,
Wash me with thine own dying sweat
In mine own final hours;
And take me then, whene’re thou wilt,
In true believing from the world
To thine own chosen people.
         —Johann Sebastian Bach

One thing’s needful; Lord, this treasure
         Teach me highly to regard.
All else, though it first give pleasure,
         Is a yoke that presses hard!
Beneath it the heart is still fretting
and striving,
No true, lasting happiness ever deriving.
         This one thing is needful; all others are vain—
         I count all but loss that I Christ may obtain!
         —One Thing’s Needful (LSB 536:1)

Prayer of the Day
O Lord, keep Your Church in Your perpetual mercy; and because without You we cannot but fall, preserve us from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (C78)

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Solid Declaration of the Formula
of Concord X 5–12

By Rev. Michael Mayer

Lutheran Pastor of two small Lutheran Churches in rural SW Ontario.