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We trust in God for all things

Matthew 6:24-34

Pastor David Ernst

Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Sep 24, 2017 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In our catechism, we begin our study with the 10 Commandments. First, you shall have no gods other than me. Our Lord said this is the greatest commandment: You love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. In His summary of the Law, He also said that the second principle is to love your neighbor as yourself. In our text for today, the Lord speaks of both, but first against idolatry, the worship of something apart from God.

When we think of idolatry, we often think of an image or a statue of something that is not the triune God. As in that time of Jesus, today there are many religions with many gods and goddesses. However, idolatry is more than ritual which denies Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. An idol is anything we have raised in importance above God in our lives. In our text, the Lord specifically speaks of riches.

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will esteem the one and despise the other: you can not serve God and riches." In this verse our Lord does not say that it is a sin to have riches. He is talking about the attitude in the mind and heart, not the amount of one's material goods.

In our catechism, we learn that in the fourth petition, give us this day our daily bread, we ask God for all material blessings: food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, land, livestock, money, pious spouse and children , employees, good government, health, friendly neighbors, etc. All these things are good things. But, we must recognize God as the source of all good things.

We deserve nothing good from the hands of God. But, God loves us and give us a shower of blessings. "Look at the birds of the air, which neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you much better than them? But which of you can, however much he labor, add to his stature an elbow? And for the dress, why do you trouble? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not work or spin; but I say unto you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed as one of them. And if the grass of the field which it is today, and tomorrow is cast into the furnace, God saw it like this, will it not do much more to you, men of little faith? "

The idolatry of wealth results from a lack of trust in God for our needs. Our relationship with God, which lasts for eternity, is more important than the current concerns. If we trust in God, we will be free from the anguish and fear of scarcity.

Nor should we worry about the reasons why others have more resources than we do. On the contrary, we must worry about those who have less than us. This is the commandment, you love your neighbor as yourself.

The words, "rich" and "poor" are relative terms. There are always people who have more than us and others who have less things. For example, in Venezuela now, we have problems with electricity and the Internet, but, look at the situation in Puerto Rico. The island is 100 percent without electricity and other services. For any reason, it is a situation but we have here.

Because of our human nature, we always think of our own situation. That affects our children, our families, is more important. However, the justice and mercy of God is for all. When we think of all the suffering and injustice in this world, it is easy to ask, Where is the justice and mercy of God? But we can trust God to cancel all accounts, to balance all the books.

This is faith, to trust God without the evidence before our eyes of His presence. And faith is the gift of the Holy Spirit, not of our own strength. Let us receive faith in the Word and the sacraments. With the help of God, we can stay on the right path. As grateful children of God, we can work and plan for the future without anguish and fear.

Because above all we have the promise of eternal life in Christ. Whatever it is, in the end we will be with Christ. It is the source of our hope and therefore, we have peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.

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