Our weekly newsletter has gotten a reboot of sorts as we begin this new triennium with Rev. Dr. D. Richard Stuckwisch now serving as the District President for the Indiana District. This reboot includes a name change for the newsletter, now known as “Earthen Vessels.”
This week Wednesday (21 September) the Church remembers and gives thanks for St. Matthew, who was called from his preoccupation with worldly wealth as a tax collector to become a disciple of Christ Jesus, an Apostle of His Word, one of the four holy Evangelists, and finally a martyr for the Name of the Lord and for His Gospel.
It is sadly the case that we are all too easily prone to become distracted by and preoccupied with that which is perishing. We covet what the Lord has not given to us, and we cling to what we do have with a fear, love, and trust that rightly belongs only to the Lord Himself. In doing so, we let go and lose sight of that which is living, life-giving, and eternal, namely, the Word and works of Christ Jesus in the Church and Ministry of His Gospel. And that is not only sinful, but foolish, self-defeating, and ultimately deadly.
Thankfully, as He did in the case of St. Matthew the tax collector, the Lord in His mercy likewise seeks us out and calls us to Himself, to leave behind our worldly attachments and take up His Cross, that we might follow Him through death and the grave into Life everlasting. It is by and with His Word that He thus turns our idolatrous hearts of stone into faithful hearts of flesh and blood, which cling to Him in His own Flesh and Blood.
In losing the world – and even our lives – for the sake of His Name and His Holy Gospel in the midst of this fallen and perishing world, we receive Him as our highest, best, and greatest Good, and find in Him our most priceless Treasure, for now and forevermore.