Service of the Word
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday, September 15th 2019 @ 9:15 am
HYMNS: ¤ 239 ¤ Ps 128 ¤ 421 ¤ 485: 1,2,5,6 ¤ 311 ¤ 469
First Lesson: Ecclesiastes 5:8-20
You can’t take it with you. Naked you’re born. Naked and empty handed we all will depart. Be wise and keep this perspective. Life is rich for those content with the life God gives us when they know the God of grace.
8 If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. 9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.
10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless.
11 As goods increase,
so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
except to feast their eyes on them?
12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance
permits them no sleep.
13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:
wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14 or wealth lost through some misfortune,
so that when they have children
there is nothing left for them to inherit.
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil
that they can carry in their hands.
16 This too is a grievous evil:
As everyone comes, so they depart,
and what do they gain,
since they toil for the wind?
17 All their days they eat in darkness,
with great frustration, affliction and anger.
18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them — for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
Second Lesson: 1Timothy 6:6-10,17-19
“Now that's the life” usually refers to a lifestyle of the rich and famous. The wise know better. Money can’t buy contentment now or in eternity. Be wise. Pursue the life that is truly life.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Gospel Lesson: Luke 16:1-13 [GW] (Sermon)
Staring unemployment in the face, this manager’s priorities changed. He lived to win friends. Focused on eternity, we who have the gospel would be wise to gladly use all we have to win friends for Christ.
1 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a business manager. The manager was accused of wasting the rich man’s property. 2 So the rich man called for his manager and said to him, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Let me examine your books. It’s obvious that you can’t manage my property any longer.’
3 “The manager thought, ‘What should I do? My master is taking my job away from me. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I’ll do so that people will welcome me into their homes when I’ve lost my job.’
5 “So the manager called for each one of his master’s debtors. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 “The debtor replied, ‘Eight hundred gallons of olive oil.’
“The manager told him, ‘Take my master’s ledger. Quick! Sit down, and write “four hundred!”’
7 “Then he asked another debtor, ‘How much do you owe?’
“The debtor replied, ‘A thousand bushels of wheat.’
“The manager told him, ‘Take the ledger, and write “eight hundred!”’
8 “The master praised the dishonest manager for being so clever. Worldly people are more clever than spiritually-minded people when it comes to dealing with others.”
9 Jesus continued, “I’m telling you that although wealth is often used in dishonest ways, you should use it to make friends for yourselves. When life is over, you will be welcomed into an eternal home. 10 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with a lot. Whoever is dishonest with very little is dishonest with a lot. 11 Therefore, if you can’t be trusted with wealth that is often used dishonestly, who will trust you with wealth that is real? 12 If you can’t be trusted with someone else’s wealth, who will give you your own?
13 “A servant cannot serve two masters. He will hate the first master and love the second, or he will be devoted to the first and despise the second. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.