February 11, 2009 - Wednesday of Septuagesima

Daily Lectionary: Job 7:1-21; John 4:7-26

You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or maidservant, his ox or donkey,or anything that belongs to your neighbor.   What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not entice or force away our neighbor's wife, workers, or animals, or turn them against him, but urge them to stay and do their duty. (The Tenth Commandment)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It's easy to want other people's people! “I wish I had your parents.” “I wish my kids were as good as their kids.” “I wish I had her boyfriend.” Such desires lead us to be bad parents, bad husbands and wives, bad friends. We think this way because we aren't content with the people the Lord puts in our life. Just think about it: When is the last time you prayed and gave thanks for your parents, or your friends or your kids?

When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed, “Father if it be your will, let this cup pass from me.” Could it be that Jesus didn't want to go through with His mission of saving ungrateful sinners? If we could have counseled Jesus, then we would have spoken like the world: “Don't do it, Jesus. They don't even like you. Why give yourself up for them? You should do what you want. God wants you to be happy.” And then the world would perish.

But Jesus doesn't go the way of the world. He “stays and does His duty.” He doesn't turn aside but accomplishes what He came to do: suffer and die for our sins. In fact, Jesus does the opposite of what the devil did. The Devil turned us away from our duty of loving God and hearing His Word. Our Savior turns us back in repentance and faith to do just that!

Contentment with what the Lord gives us is a supernatural gift. It comes from being a baptized, absolved, body-and-blood-fed child of God. It comes from daily repentance and faith in which the Spirit turns us to rejoice in the gifts of Jesus most of all so that we stop lusting after what doesn't belong to us. It's a battle, all right! But because it is a battle that Jesus won, His victory is ours. Now, our contentment comes because we have all that we ever need in Jesus. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus, Thy boundless love to me No thought can reach, no tongue declare; Unite my thankful heart to Thee, And reign without a rival there! Thine wholly Thine alone I am; Be Thou along my constant flame. (LSB 683:1)