August 7, 2016
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
INI + AMEN.
There are lots of things that are in short supply in the world or even in your world! From food to money, health to safety, happiness to just general ease of life—not everyone has these things around the world. Maybe you don’t either! But what is there enough of? There’s enough of it to go around to everyone so that everyone can have enough—actually more than enough to go around! Worry. Endless anxiety. But Jesus draws our eyes away from our worry to the lilies of the field. He draws our eyes there, to just one of those little flowers, and He wants us to learn from the lily how to grow. For with that one little flower, a flower that has more glory and beauty than Solomon in all his riches and power and wisdom, a flower that’s here today, gone tomorrow—yes, Jesus uses that flower to show us something far better than anything in all creation. Jesus shows us, tells us:
THE FATHER’S GIVING HIS KINGDOM AWAY—TO YOU!
((I. Do we really believe it, want it?))
But we don’t really believe it, do we? If we did, would we have endless anxiety? The little lily grows and lives and receives everything from God’s hand as gift. It’s life isn’t spent living as if God weren’t around, as if He didn’t care to give it life and growth. They don’t have anxiety. We do, and, in our time of need, we live as if God weren’t around, as if He didn’t care or at least not well enough; and so we have to devise other things to fill in for His failures: our own strength, plans, and ability, those around us, our work, our family—idols, other gods! These sorts of things last as gods only as long as we can keep them going. Endless anxiety until at last we turn even the true and living God into some other god than He really is. “Seek Him, His will, His kingdom hard enough, and then He’ll give me all that I want.” Put in the dollar, punch the right code, pull out the bag of chips. Endless anxiety.
((II. It really is true!))
O little faith ones, it really is true! He sent His Son to do it! THE FATHER’S GIVING HIS KINGDOM AWAY—TO YOU! His Son died and rose trusting His Father, thus dying and rising for you! And He’s certainly giving it away today! No idols here. No works here. No lack or running short here. Holy Baptism! He’s given His kingdom away to little Audrey Sue. All of 10 days old, and she’s in! Holy Absolution! Your worry and anxiety won’t keep you out of the kingdom. The doors have been opened for you! Jesus’ body and blood given you to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of sins and for the strengthening of your trust in God and your love for one another. In all these ways the true and eternal God, Jesus, comes to you. As surely as He said the Word in our Gospel text, He comes whenever His Word comes to bear on sinners in real tangible ways: water on the forehead, Word ringing in our ears, body and blood for us to eat and drink. You have the heavenly treasure that does not fail! O you of little faith, how can you not? Look at what God Jesus does for you!
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” He has in His Son! He has today! The Kingdom’s yours. That’s your treasure. Jesus is your treasure! He’s died and risen. He baptizes, absolves, feeds. How can you not ”lift up your hearts”? Yes, “we lift them up unto the Lord” because they’re the Lord’s, and He strengthens them—our souls and bodies—with His body and blood as He comes to us today to give you the kingdom. Today, He splashed it on Audrey’s forehead; He places it into your mouth with His body and blood. No more anxiety! Lilies clothed. Birds fed. See what Jesus does for you! Calvary, Font, Keys, Altar! So, you too, how much more you than the grass of the field and the birds of the air, O you of little faith!?
INI + **AMEN.**