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                           SERMON NOTES

                      The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

                                  September 15, 1996

                                     Matthew 6:24-34


"In this Gospel we see how God distinguishes Christians from heathen. For the Lord does not deliver these teachings to the heathen, for they could not receive them, but to His Christians...Satan also hears the Gospel and the Word of God, yea, he knows it far better than we do, and he could preach it as well as we, if he only wanted to; but the Gospel is a doctrine that should become a living power and be put into practice; it should strengthen and comfort people, and make them courageous and aggressive."

            Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, V,  p. 103f. Trinity 15 Matthew 6:24‑34          


"The Master uses here the Hebrew, which we do not.  'Mammon' means goods or riches, and such goods as one does not need, but holds as a treasure, and it is gold and possessions that one deposits as stock and storage provisions."

            Sermons of Martin Luther,  V,  p. 107. 

                                The Weak God:  Riches               

"They are a shameful, loathsome, powerless god, that cannot cure a sore, yea, it cannot keep and take care of itself, there it lies in the chest, and lets its devotees wait, yea, one must watch it as a helpless, powerless, weak thing.  The lord who has this god must watch day and night lest thieves steal it; this helpless god can aid no one."

            Sermons of Martin Luther, V, p. 107.


"The walls of our rooms should spit upon us in contempt that we trust more in the god the moth eat and the rust corrupt, than in the God, who creates and gives all things, yea, who holds in His hand heaven and earth, and all that is in them."

            Sermons of Martin Luther, V, p. 108.


                                A Little Bird Shames Us

"Early in the morning it rises, sits upon a twig and sings a song it has learned, while it knows not where to obtain its food, and yet it is not worried as to where to get its breakfast.  Later, when it is hungry, it flies away and seeks a grain of corn,  where God stored one away for it, of which it never thought while singing, when it had cause enough to be anxious about its food. Ay, shame on you now, that the little birds are more pious and believing than you; they are happy and sing with joy and know not whether they have anything to eat."

            Sermons of Martin Luther, V,  p. 114. 

                                Is Christ Our Treasure?     

"Here are no learned, no rich, no mighty ones, for such people do not as a rule accept the Gospel.  The Gospel is a heavenly treasure, which will not tolerate any other treasure, and will not agree with any earthly guest in the heart.  Therefore whoever loves the one must let go the other, as Christ says, Matthew 6:24:  'You cannot serve God and mammon.'"

            Sermons of Martin Luther, I,  p. 154.