Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Sermon for 9/28/14--Trinity XV



Doves and Dandelions

Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

God has given you all that you need, both for this life, and for eternal life. The sins that once stood against you have been cast aside by Holy Absolution. The Body and Blood of Jesus are your regular feast. The Good News of the death of the Son of God for your sins shows that the Lord Himself loves you and cares for you. That is true riches! So why do you get all worried about things? Why do husbands and wives have to fight about who spends what and how much? Why do kids hate their parents when they don't buy them what they want?

To be fair, your idolatry is not that you have stuff. After all, God in Christ is the giver of every good gift, and that includes material things. Your idolatry is that you don't believe that the Father has given you every good gift in Jesus Christ. You are baptized and have the Holy Supper and the preaching of the Gospel. But does that put food on the table? Does that mail a check to the credit card company? My brothers and sisters in Christ, repent of that thinking, as if every good gift in Christ is somehow not enough.

To rescue you from the despair that mammon brings, Jesus lifts your eyes to look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. Think about this. Every time you see the mess that a bird left on your windshield, you know that your Father in heaven is still feeding the birds. Every time you see the dandelions growing in your yard, you can be certain that your Father in heaven is making the flowers look beautiful. He will certainly provide your nourishment and clothing. You are the crown of creation. You are more valuable than doves and dandelions.

You are valuable because you are God's own child through Jesus. You are priceless because the Son of God took on your flesh, taking on your sins and bearing them to the cross. The value you have is that you have been redeemed, bought back from sin and death by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Do you think He's just going to throw you to the wolves? Do you think He will let you starve? Do you think He will keep you out of heaven? Of course not. You are His. Do you suffer? Jesus has suffered even more. He came into this world to take every bit of your pain, your suffering, your worry, and all your sins upon Himself, to take them away. When you are tempted to worry, to get all worked up over the stuff of this life, then stop a minute and behold the cross. In the cross you can be certain that your heavenly Father is looking out for you.

So what about your clothing? You have been dressed in the robe of Christ's righteousness, given you at your Baptism. By water and the Word, the Lord has claimed you and marked you as His own. What about nourishment? He gives you a never ending feast: the body and blood of Jesus for you to eat and drink for the forgiveness of your sins. Everything is yours in Jesus! It won't run out. You can never run out of Jesus. He always has more to give.

It's easy to worry about mammon, but Jesus teaches you that such worry is an attempt to serve mammon. You cannot have two masters. So Jesus comes and He has one Master, His Father, to whom He is obedient by dying to pay the debt owed by sinners. He gives His life into death for your sins. He rises again to show that He has conquered sin and death and your worry about mammon. He has washed you at the font, making you His own, clothing you in robes more beautiful than lilies. He feeds you with His own body and blood, a feast far better than the birds get. Your Father has given you all you need to support this body and life. More importantly, in Christ, you have been given everything you need for eternal life. In the name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

The peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus always.  Amen.

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