Contemplating with Luther —–

Money, Property and Idolatry

On the first commandment: “So that it may be understood and remembered, I must explain this a little more plainly by citing some everyday examples of the opposite. There are some who think that they have God and everything they need when they have money and property; they trust in them and boast in them so stubbornly and securely that they care for no one else. [6] They, too, have a god—mammon by name, that is, money and property—on which they set their whole heart. This is the most common idol on earth. [7] Those who have money and property feel secure, happy, and fearless, as if they were sitting in the midst of paradise. [8] On the other hand, those who have nothing doubt and despair as if they knew of no god at all. [9] We will find very few who are cheerful, who do not fret and complain, if they do not have mammon. This desire for wealth clings and sticks to our nature all the way to the grave” (Large Catechism)

Questions for personal reflection:

  1. Is having money and property a “bad thing” for a Christian? Refer 8:18, 1 Tm 6:17, Ps. 49:5-6 and Pr. 30:7-10 to aid your reflection. Also consider the offertory prayer.
  2. Luther claims that money and property “is the most common idol on earth.” Do you agree or disagree?
  3. Can you think of other idols other than wealth that seem rampant today?
  4. What idols do you struggle with?

Prayer: Almighty Father, aid us in the power of Your Spirit to cherish all that we have as a gift from Your eternal bounty but also to help each other in all our needs. In Jesus name. Amen.