Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
And now, O Lord, .for what do I wait?
My hope is in you. — Psalm 39:6-7
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun? — Ecclesiastes 1:2-3 [ESV]
To wear decent clothes and seek an honest living is a necessity, not a sin. Yet in his heart a child must be reconciled to the fact that it is an awful pity that this miserable earthly life cannot well be lived, or even begun, without the striving after more adornment and more possessions than are necessary to protect the body against cold and for nourishment. Thus the child must be taught to do against its own will what the world wants. . . . But such souls are rare, for it is hard not to take delight in great adornment and display. [The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, pastor, theologian, reformer 1483-1546]
DAILY PRAYER for TUESDAY
Almighty God, heavenly Father; we praise Your fathomless mercy, with which You take pity on sinful men. All the prophets and apostles preach this to us in Your Holy Word.
Let our hope not be put to shame when we pray to You for all who suffer at this time. For behold, the evil foe has become mighty, and the great ones of this world rule often with unrighteousness. O God, who in former times caused Your saints to overcome injustice, strengthen also today all who stand in need of Your help. Grant that all prisoners of war—held as slaves and sacrifices of earthly wrath—may return to their homes. Stand by all refugees and homeless people, and be their justice. Be a father to the widows and orphans with Your strong protection.
Go through bars and fences to those who are imprisoned for the sake of Your name; strengthen them for a good witness, and let them not waver in the confession of Your name. Teach us through their example, and the example of so many holy martyrs, to be ever watchful of the confession of Your Son’s name. Let us not be put to shame when the evil foe lays his hand on us. But if it is Your will that we be persecuted for confessing Jesus as our Lord and only Savior, then support us in Your grace that we may withstand all trials, and grant us peaceful rest; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.