Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity – Wednesday
Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled. – Matthew 5:6.
All poor sinners who truly believe in Jesus Christ have and possess with Him that righteousness wherein they can stand before God and be saved. For the righteousness of Christ is imputed to true faith, be it strong or weak. And this is valid before God and will avail before His judgment-seat, for it is a spotless and perfect righteousness.
After this righteousness of faith Christians need not hunger and thirst; they have it, and they praise the unfathomable grace of God who has graciously procured this righteousness for them, and through the gift of faith appropriates it to them.
But now they also hunger and thirst after another righteousness. They hunger and thirst after a righteousness which they are to practice in their every-day life. Because they have learned to know and have experienced the wonderful grace of God, thanks to which all their sins are forgiven and in no wise imputed to them, they continually hunger and thirst to do that which is right before God and toward their neighbor, according to the Commandments of the Lord. It grieves them that they succeed so poorly in this endeavor. For their old Adam clings to them until they die. And so this hunger and thirst is with them until they depart this life.
Indeed, the better Christians we become, the more this hunger and thirst will increase, as will also the grief that goes with the acknowledgment of sin. But through all of this hunger and thirst, we are blessed people. For by the grace of God we shall increase in righteousness. And when this brief time is past, when we fall asleep in death and awaken again in heaven, then we shall be perfectly righteous. Our hunger and thirst shall then be completely satisfied.
PRAYER – O merciful God, give to me, whom Thou hast graciously received as Thine own child, that hunger and thirst after righteousness which I should practice in my whole life, in everything that I may think or desire, speak or do. Increase this hunger and thirst within me! And also satisfy it, O God! Satisfy it ever more and more by helping me to do what is right, until it shall be fully satisfied when I awaken with Thine image. Amen.
May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me,
Oh, may my love to Thee
Pure, warm, and changeless be, A living fire!
Hymn 394, 2.(TLH)