Sunday, September 20, 2009

Trinity 15 Matthew 6:24-34

No one is able, two lords to serve; for either the one he will hate and the other he will love, or the one he will cling to and the other he will despise. You are not able to serve God and mammon. Through this I say to you, stop worrying on your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor on your body, what you will clothe it. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? You look into the birds of the heavens, that they neither sow, nor harvest, nor gather into barns, yet your Father, the heavenly One, feeds them. Aren't you, yourselves worth more than they? And who of you worrying is able to add upon His height one cubit? And concerning clothing, why do you worry? Observe the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not labor nor do they spin. And I say to you that Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself as one of these. And if the grass of the field being today, but tomorrow into the furnace is thrown, God so clothes, not much more for you, of little faith? You do not worry, saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or, "What will we throw around ourselves?" For all these things the nations seek after; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. And keep seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not worry into tomorrow, for tomorrow worries for itself. The day has sufficient evils of its own.

Anxiety, stress, worry; it's a big problem. Oh, some say that it's parents' prerogative to worry about their children, but that's not really true. Concern is fine, but worry is sinful. That's why Jesus says "don't worry" and "stop worrying", because it's never productive. It can't add any time to your life, but too much stress may take years off your life So what is the solution to worrying? God's gift of faith.

Trusting your heavenly Father to watch over you and your loved ones alleviates anxiety. Relying on God to provide, food, drink and clothing is better than worrying about how you fail to obtain it all by yourself. Believing God will give you more than just earthly needs is a comfort that reduces your stress. But replacing worry with a trusting faith is not so easy for us overly-concerned human beings.

First, we worry about our life, though we shouldn't. How long will we live? How healthy are we currently living? Your diet and exercise regimen probably could use some improvement. So, do you get on nutri-system and join a gym to begin a new work-out plan? You could, but you'd still die from something eventually. It seems that your life is not really in your hands at all...

Jesus reminds you that your life is really in His hands after all. "Seek first the kingdom of God" Jesus tells you. You are only a resident alien here on earth now for a short while. Your real, lasting home is in heaven with God!. Your life here is temporary, but in Christ Jesus your life above is eternal! For Jesus proclaims you forgiven of your sins, and made worthy of everlasting life in heaven because He died for you, in your place, at the cross. His gospel declares you will live forever with Him in paradise!

Secondly, we worry about what we eat and drink, although we ought not. "You are what you eat" people say. But that doesn't make you Colonel Sanders or Dr. Pepper. You watch the price of groceries go up, while your monthly check doesn't, and you become worried. How will you be able to feed your family? How quick you are to forget that your life is more than your food and drink.

Jesus reminds us that God feeds the birds of heaven each day, without their worrying about it. He feeds you too, but not just your daily bread. He gives you the Bread of Life to eat–the body of Jesus in the Lord's Supper, and His blood in the cup for you to drink. And you need not fear that you will become ill this cold and flu season, for no poison can be in the cup your Physician sends you. For healing from the deadly disease of sin is given you in Jesus' body and blood for your life everlasting!

Thirdly, we worry about what we wear. "Clothes make the man" (or the woman) we are told. But no matter how fancy a terrorist or a serial-killer is dressed in the courtroom, such people are still evil. Yet you worry about your work outfits, or school clothes for the children. You are quick to forget that this life is much more than clothing. For the raiment that God provides is always superior!

Jesus reminds your faith to seek His righteousness as your clothing. Your sin-stained garments are washed clean in Holy Baptism, all of your unrighteousness poured out on Jesus at the cross, where He bore your sins. In their place, you now wear His holy righteousness, a pure white garment as your clothing. That white robe of Christ's righteousness is your eternal raiment for your life in heaven.

Hymns for today from LSB:
#419 Savior, when in Dust to Thee
#760 What God Ordains is Always Good
#732 All Depends on Our Possessing

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