Faith-Life is Nourished Only Through God’s Gospel Promises
These are the readings for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.
God’s Word for This Week
Doctors sometimes tell sick, weak people to put on some weight. Their body needs proper nourishment. That is true also for our souls. Even after we become Christians through the powerful working of the Holy Spirit, our faith-life needs daily nourishment to fight against the power of sin inside us and around us. And how is our faith-life nourished? Only through God’s gospel promises in Word and sacrament.
Traditional First Lesson – Genesis 18:1-14
What gospel promise does the Lord once again give to Abraham and Sarah?
The Lord assured this elderly couple that they would have a son within the year.
How did Sarah react and why? How did Abraham react?
Sarah laughed because she couldn’t believe that such old people would be granted the blessing of a child. However, Abraham believed God, and his faith-life was nourished through the gospel promises. (See Romans 4:18-22.)
Supplemental First Lesson – 1 Samuel 3:1-10
When young Samuel woke up and heard someone calling his name, who did he think was calling him?
Samuel thought Eli, the high priest, was calling to him at night.
What did Samuel say to the LORD when he realized who was calling to him?
Samuel said, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”
Traditional Second Lesson – Colossians 1:21-29
What kind of relationship did the Colossians once have with God? How did that relationship change?
Paul says that the Colossians (yes, the entire sinful world) were once alienated from God because of sin. But we have been reconciled to God through the blood of Christ. Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. (See 1 John 2:2.)
What impact does the revelation of God’s gospel promises have on sinful people?
When the “mystery [a hidden reality] of God,” namely that in Christ God loves and has forgiven all people unconditionally, is revealed to us through the powerful working of the Holy Spirit in Word and sacrament, our faith-life is nourished by God’s gospel promises.
Supplemental Second Lesson – Colossians 3:12-17
First Paul tells us to love others, be thankful, etc. Then he tells us to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly. What is the connection, probably?
The connection between us loving others, being thankful, etc., and the word of Christ dwelling in us richly is that we will only do the actions in the first group if the word of Christ dwells in us richly. God’s good news in Christ is the power plant for energy to love God and others.
Paul does not picture a group of people sitting passively as one person reads and applies God’s Word to them. What does Paul picture, instead?
Paul is not telling us it is wrong for a pastor to preach to a congregation of Christians, but Paul also envisions Christians teaching and warning each other with all wisdom as we sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to each other—all in connection with God’s grace.
Gospel – Luke 10:38-42
When Jesus came to visit their home, with what did Mary and Martha busy themselves, respectively?
Martha busied herself with preparing a meal for Jesus, while Mary busied herself with sitting at Jesus’ feet for the nourishment of her faith-life.
According to Jesus, which sister made better use of her time?
When Martha became upset at Mary, Jesus told Martha that her sister had chosen the more necessary thing.
True or false: Jesus is suggesting that work is a waste of our time.
False. Jesus is simply pointing out that the nourishment of our faith-life through the gospel is far more necessary than worrying about earthly needs. (See Matthew 6:25-34.) Work is a blessing from God as we are given the opportunity to serve him and one another in unselfish love. Martha showed her selfishness when she became angry at Mary. Instead she should have graciously accepted the task of preparing the meal by herself without any thought of what Mary was doing! Instead of being angry at Mary, she should have rejoiced that Mary was being granted such a wonderful opportunity to be nourished through the gospel.