Wednesday of the Sixth Week after Easter

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 10:11-36; Luke 16:19-31

You shall not steal. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not take our neighbor's money or possessions, or get them in any dishonest way, but help him to improve and protect his possessions and income. (The Small Catechism: Seventh Commandment)

He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Lord gives you all that you have. He's given you not only your body and soul, your fingers your toes, but He's also give you everything that you own. You didn't earn it for yourself. You don't keep it for yourself either. God guards, protects, and defends you and your stuff, too! "All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy without any merit or worthiness in you." (Small Catechism: Apostles' Creed, 1st Article) But it's not just for you, it's for your neighbor, too!

Your neighbor's stuff is your neighbor's stuff. If it's not yours, then it's your neighbor's. What your heavenly Father has given them has been especially for them. In His love for those around you, He's chosen exactly what He is going to give them, and He's also given them you.

That's right! You're a gift for your neighbor. You're to love them, cherish them, and when it comes to the gifts given to them by God, well, you're called to help your neighbor "improve and protect his possessions and income."

All theft has been covered by the blood of Jesus: from robbing banks to cheating on your taxes, from taking a five-finger-discount at the store to pirating movies, games, TV shows and music. Jesus came even for the tax collectors (who were thieves) and for the two thieves on the crosses next to Him. He died for all who take what isn't theirs and who only want to improve their own things to the loss of their neighbor.

We don't want to help our neighbor, but Christ has died for all that. In fact, He rose, and you've been brought into the newness of life in Holy Baptism! Jesus' life is your life, and it's a life that puts neighbor first. You learn that at His Supper. Receiving His Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins, you learn to love God and your neighbor. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Now I will cling forever To Christ, my Savior true; My Lord will leave me never, Whate'er He passes through. He rends death's iron chain; He breaks through sin and pain; He shatters hell's dark thrall; I follow Him through all. (Awake, My Heart, with Gladness, LSB 467:6)

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