New Hymns for the Lectionary
Proper 20C - Gospel

Just When We’ve Sunk in Deep Despair
TEXT: Mark Ryman (2004) based on Luke 16:1-13.
Rest" by Frederick C. Maker (1887).

This life you’ve given all of us
is hard to live just right.
Our efforts are iniquitous.
Our sinning is ubiquitous.
We’re fallen in your sight.

We’ve squandered and we’ve cheated you
but you will call us forth
to answer for these crimes – if few
or many, by just one we’re through.
One fault destroys our worth.

We cannot pay our good Lord back
before the end of things.
There is no wealth for what we lack;
we have no strength to mount attack
on what the future brings.

Just when we’ve sunk in deep despair,
Christ counters sin’s dark threat.
He calls us brother, friend, and heir
if we would live by faith with prayer
that He has paid our debt.

The Lesson - Luke 16:1-13

       This parable is one of those difficult sayings of Jesus. Is he condoning and even praising cheating? Certainly not. The character of Jesus should not allow one to entertain long such an idea.
       Be careful; parables are not to be understood on face value. One must look under the surface for the heart of their teachings. Under the surface of this story you will see Jesus praising the ingenuity of a “child of the dark.” The man took pains in the present to insure against his future – a future that would end in death. Jesus then admonishes “children of the light” because they do not take as much care as those who do not know the truth.
       How sad that, knowing the truth, christians do not invest more carefully. Though
today has enough cares of its own, what one does today most certainly affects tomorrow. So take care for today in a manner that will positively affect your tomorrows – and your eternity. Pray, aid others, meditate. Invest well what God has given you to work with and he will take care of tomorrow.

© 2004, Mark E. Ryman

You may freely use these hymn lyrics and/or commentary in whole or in part for study and/or worship
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Mark E. Ryman