Friday after Trinity 17

1Out | of the depths*
         I cry to you, | O LORD!

2O Lord, | hear my voice!*
         Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for | mercy!

3If you, O LORD, should mark in- | iquities,*
         O Lord, | who could stand?

4But with you there is for- | giveness,*
         that you | may be feared.

5I wait for the LORD, my | soul waits,*
         and in his | word I hope;

6my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the | morning,*
         more than watchmen for the | morning.

7O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is | steadfast love,*
         and with him is plentiful re- | demption.

8And he will redeem | Israel*
         from all his in- | iquities.
               —Psalm 130

Additional Psalm: Psalm 51

Old Testament Reading:
Deuteronomy 2:16–37
[The Wilderness Years]
16“So as soon as all the men of war had perished and were dead from among the people, 17the LORD said to me, 18‘Today you are to cross the border of Moab at Ar. 19And when you approach the territory of the people of Ammon, do not harass them or contend with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the people of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot for a possession.’ 20(It is also counted as a land of Rephaim. Rephaim formerly lived there—but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim—21a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim; but the LORD destroyed them before the Ammonites, and they dispossessed them and settled in their place, 22as he did for the people of Esau, who live in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites before them and they dispossessed them and settled in their place even to this day. 23As for the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim, who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and settled in their place.) 24‘Rise up, set out on your journey and go over the Valley of the Arnon. Behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to take possession, and contend with him in battle. 25This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you on the peoples who are under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.’

The Defeat of King Sihon
26“So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon the king of Heshbon, with words of peace, saying, 27‘Let me pass through your land. I will go only by the road; I will turn aside neither to the right nor to the left. 28You shall sell me food for money, that I may eat, and give me water for money, that I may drink. Only let me pass through on foot, 29as the sons of Esau who live in Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I go over the Jordan into the land that the LORD our God is giving to us.’ 30But Sihon the king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, that he might give him into your hand, as he is this day. 31And the LORD said to me, ‘Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to take possession, that you may occupy his land.’ 32Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. 33And the LORD our God gave him over to us, and we defeated him and his sons and all his people. 34And we captured all his cities at that time and devoted to destruction every city, men, women, and children. We left no survivors. 35Only the livestock we took as spoil for ourselves, with the plunder of the cities that we captured. 36From Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, and from the city that is in the valley, as far as Gilead, there was not a city too high for us. The LORD our God gave all into our hands. 37Only to the land of the sons of Ammon you did not draw near, that is, to all the banks of the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, whatever the LORD our God had forbidden us.”

New Testament Reading:
Matthew 6:16–34
16“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
19“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24“No one 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.

Do Not Be Anxious
25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Just as you cannot make out of the gospel a sacrifice or a work, so you cannot make a sacrifice or a work out of this sacrament; for this sacrament is the gospel.

Therefore, in this matter no one can achieve anything for another person. Each one must believe for himself, just as I must believe all the Gospels for myself. I cannot hear or believe or keep for any one else so much as a single letter of the gospel, even as I cannot be baptized for any one else. But a good work I can always do to another person and for another person. Indeed, I have to do them for somebody else or they are not good works. For example, I can pray for you, serve you, work for you, suffer for you, and so forth. There is a great difference between faith and good works, just as vast as the difference in value between the tree and the fruit. Fruits disappear and return each year, but the tree remains always. Faith also remains always, but works disappear… Be careful, therefore, to stay on the track. Don’t let anyone pull you away from the Word through any statement of man, be it Augustine, Jerome, Bernard, or even an angel [Gal. 1:8]. “The elect will be led astray,” says Christ [Matt. 24:24]. Therefore we cannot build on the mere word of one of the elect saints, without Scripture. Christ has warned us faithfully enough, and our own experience has probably taught us, that saintly men can make mistakes and have made mistakes… No good work can free us of our sins or give us grace or life or salvation. But this sacrament does give life, grace, and blessedness, for it is a fountain of life and of blessedness.
               —Martin Luther

He who to this day has fed me
And to many joys has led me
         Is and ever shall be mine.
He who ever gently schools me,
He who daily guides and rules me
         Will remain my help divine.
               —All Depends on Our Possessing (LSB 732:2)

Prayer of the Day
Eternal God, You counsel us not to be anxious about earthly things. Keep alive in us a proper yearning for those heavenly treasures awaiting all who trust in Your mercy, that we may daily rejoice in Your salvation and serve You with constant devotion; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (A61)

Suggested Reading from the Book of Concord
Apology of the Augsburg Confession XIII (VII) 1–13

By Rev. Michael Mayer

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