Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our text for today is part of the Sermon on the Mount, a discourse that Jesus gave his disciples on a high hill outside Jerusalem. The first part begins in Chapter Five of the Gospel according to Matthew and is well known: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted, "and more. However, the sermon is long and deals with many things in regard to how to live as children of God.
Our text is in Chapter Six: "No man can serve two masters; because he will hate the one and love the other, will be devoted to the one and despise the other You can not serve God and mammon "
It's not wrong to have wealth.. Material goods are a blessing from God. To be rich or poor is relative many times, because there are always those who have more than us and those who have less than us. In addition, our condition often changes throughout life. Sometimes we have more goods, sometimes less. Therefore, we must not rely on the amount of our possessions, but in the love of God. God's will is to share our blessings with those who have less.
"Therefore I say: Do not be anxious about your life, what ye shall eat, what ye shall drink; nor about your body, what you shall put on: Is not the life more than food, and the body than raiment? "
The value of the life of each of you in the sight of God is not in the amount of your possessions, nor your stature in the community. It has value in itself. Nor we deserve good things for our own work. We all must trust the love and mercy of God for all.
We learn in the catechism that when we pray in the Our Father, "Give us today our daily bread", bread does not mean only bread, but all food drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, livestock, money, goods, pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful authorities, good government, good weather, peace, health, good order, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and all such things as these.
We must all recognize God as the source of our blessings. Not only the rich think of wealth as their god. Also those who do not have great wealth may consider material possessions as being more important than anything else in life. They may believe in luck. "If I win the lottery, all my problems are gone, and I no longer will have to work." But the work is a gift of God, as much as wealth and we must rely on God for everything.
"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are ye not much better than they? But which of you by being anxious can add to his stature one cubit? And for raiment why do you worry? The lilies of the field grow; neither they toil nor spin; But I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of them. And if the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God clothes, will he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, What shall we eat, what we drink to what we wear? For the Gentiles seek all these things for your heavenly Father knows that ye need all these things. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. So, do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will be anxious enough. Sufficient for the day is its own evil ".
The life of each one of you is more important in the eyes of God that all birds or all of the lilies of the field in all their beauty.
What happened in our reading of the Old Testament (1 Kings 17: 8-16)? "And there came to him the word of the Lord, saying, Arise, go to Zarephath of Sidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. Then he got up and went to Zarephath. And as he reached the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called her, and said, 'Please bring me a little water in a glass, to drink. And she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said 'Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand. And she said, as the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, only a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and now gathering two sticks: to go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. "
The lack of rain is not our problem today in Venezuela. But there is a shortage of flour and oil. I do not want to talk about the reasons for this situation. Venezuela has all the natural resources to meet the needs of all and there are those who seek the resolution of our problems. Thank God, the day of the march in Caracas passed without violence. But I want to talk about how do we live in this situation? First, we must trust God to overcome all difficulties. Second, we pray for our country, for the peaceful resolution of the problems. Because God promised us to listen to our prayers and help us.
Neither the prophet Elijah and the widow had flour or oil. The widow in despair awaited death for herself and her son. But, "Elijah said, Have no fear; You go and do as you have said, but make me first it a little ash cake, and bring it to me; and then you make something for yourself and your son. For the Lord God of Israel says: 'The jar of meal shall not waste, nor the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth. And she went, and did as Elijah said; and she and her household ate many days. The jar of flour was not exhausted nor the cruse of oil ebbed, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah. "
What is a miracle? When natural laws are suspended by the will of God. He created the heavens and the earth and its laws. God created the natural order, but He also has power over the natural order. He does not always suspend natural laws, but God always has the power to fulfill His promises.
God often uses natural forces as His instruments and uses us as well. Paul says in our epistle (Galatians 5: 26-6: 10), "Let us not grow weary in doing good; which in time we shall reap, if we faint not. So, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to the household of faith. "
The purpose of the church is first to proclaim the good news of eternal life in Christ, but also to show God's love to others in their needs and afflictions, because of the great love that God showed us in Christ. We can not change the whole world, but we can start with the help of God, our families, our community and our congregation. And the church is not only our congregation but we work together with the national church in improving the situation of our country. With God's help, we can overcome the crisis.
Therefore, we pray for peace in our country and the world, because we have in our hearts the peace that passes all understanding. Amen.
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