16th Sunday After Pentecost, Proper 21 – 09-25-2022

Jeremiah 32:1-3, 6-15; Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16; 1st Timothy 6:6-19; Luke 16:19-31

From our lesson in Jeremiah this day, we see that God, the ruler of the universe, has power and freedom to hand the king of His people to the enemy. He can also fulfill His promise to restore his people. Jeremiah was sent to instruct the king of Judah, Zedekiah, to hand over the land to the Babylonians, that his cousin Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle would come and offer to sell you his land and you as a kinsman, and he was to agree to purchase it for 17 shekels of silver. Hanamel arrived and asked him to purchase his land for 17 shekels of silver, it was agreed upon and the deed was signed and sealed and properly witnessed, and he weighed out the 17 shekels. The prophet took the sealed documents symbolizing God’s hope and plans for Judah, and a copy and gave them to Hanamel in the presence of Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presences of of the witnesses who had signed the deed and all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard, saying, “In their presence I gave Baruch these this instruction: Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time.

For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land It represented God’s vote of confidence in their future following destruction. The land would again be home of the children of God.

In our lesson from Psalms 91 is a prayer, the first six verses presents us who believe in God will dwell in the shelter of the Most High and will rest in the shadow of the Almighty; we will say ,”He is our refuge and our fortress, our God, in whom we trust.” It is an acknowledgment that because the psalmist loves me” I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledged my name and will call upon me. I will be with him and deliver him and honor him with long life and I satisfy him and show him my salvation. Beloved, the him is you and me, not some unknown psalmist.

In 1st Timothy, we are told by Paul that we are to be wary of worldly goods and riches and keep our focus upon our Lord. We must remember that we brought nothing into this world and we will taking nothing out of here. God gives us the power to acquire wealth, but we should use it to serve God and others. To earn a call to eternal life we must publicly confess Jesus Christ as Lord. This confession gives us something to hold onto as we engage in the good fight of faith

Finally we come to the Gospel of Luke and are reminded that Lazarus suffering and injustice prevailed for him in this life, he was rewarded after his death. Eternity is the only existence where people do not suffer. Those who do not receive eternal life from God face eternal suffering. Jesus contrasted the destinies of two persons. One died and entered a conscious state blessedness. The other died and entered a conscious state of misery. Both were presented by Jesus as entering their future condition immediately following death. Death ends the opportunity to confess, repent, and seek salvation. The prayer of the former rich man was unanswerable. It was too late; the guilt was fixed.

God has revealed the way to life through the Scriptures. Spectacular events and unusual messengers will not convert those who choose to live their own selfish way. Faith is always based on more than objective proof. The majority of Judah’s population did not believe Christ’s resurrection. Those who refuse to repent upon hearing God’s Law and His prophets would not repent if one from the dead went to them. People do not need more evidence to repent. They need faith in God. Amen!

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