PREDICA PENTRU CEA DE-A XV-A DUMINICĂ DUPĂ SFÂNTA TREIME, 12 09 2021
24 Nimeni nu poate sluji la doi stăpâni; căci sau îl va urî pe unul şi îl va iubi pe celălalt, sau va ţine la unul, iar pe celălalt îl va dispreţui. Nu puteţi sluji lui Dumnezeu şi mamónei.25 De aceea vă spun: nu vă îngrijoraţi pentru viaţa voastră: ce veţi mânca [sau ce veţi bea], nici pentru trupul vostru: cu ce vă veţi îmbrăca! Oare nu este viaţa mai mult decât hrana, iar trupul [mai mult] decât îmbrăcămintea? 26 Priviţi păsările cerului: nu seamănă, nu seceră, nici nu adună în hambar, iar Tatăl vostru ceresc le hrăneşte. Oare nu sunteţi voi mult mai [de preţ] decât ele? 27 Cine dintre voi, oricât s-ar strădui, poate să adauge câtuşi de puţin la durata vieţii sale? 28 Iar pentru îmbrăcăminte de ce vă străduiţi? Observaţi cum cresc crinii câmpului: nu trudesc şi nu ţes. 29 Totuşi vă spun că nici Solomón, în toată gloria lui, nu s-a îmbrăcat ca unul dintre aceştia. 30 Aşadar, dacă Dumnezeu îmbracă astfel iarba câmpului, care astăzi este şi mâine se aruncă în cuptor, cu cât mai mult pe voi, [oameni] cu puţină credinţă? 31 Deci nu vă îngrijoraţi, spunând: «Ce vom mânca? Ce vom bea?» sau «Cu ce ne vom îmbrăca?»! 32 Căci pe toate acestea le caută neamurile [păgâne]; dar Tatăl vostru ceresc ştie că aveţi nevoie de toate acestea. 33 Căutaţi mai întâi împărăţia lui Dumnezeu şi dreptatea lui şi toate acestea vi se vor adăuga! 34 Deci nu vă îngrijoraţi pentru ziua de mâine, căci ziua de mâine se va îngriji de ea însăşi! Ajunge zilei răutatea ei.
Grace, Mercy and Peace be to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen! In the 6th chapter of Matthew Jesus gives us one of his hardest sayings. “Do not be anxious about your life.” Jesus uses the examples of food and drink, and clothing, but we can understand from His words that tells us not to worry about any of the needs of this life. For us in our sinful flesh, that is hard. How can one not worry about such things! And yet, our Lord knowing our heart turns our eyes from our own hands to the hands of the one who truly provides for all of our needs, and by doing so he frees us to seek and strive not for earthly things but heavenly ones.
Jesus begins by showing us the things of this world, the birds and the flowers. I have seen many fat pigeons, but I have never seen a pigeon bake the bread he eats, nor farm the wheat. But the Lord provides for even the pigeons, and crumbs crumble and the pretzels fall from the hands of children. I was at the circus park last week and there still some lotus in bloom. The remaining flowers were lovely. Think of it, the Lord adorns a plant that grows in the mud with such beauty.
But we are talking about pigeons and pond plants, what are they compared to you? Were they made in God’s image? No. Do they have an eternal soul? No. Did God the Father love them so much that He sent his only begotten Son to die for them? No. And yet look how he cares for them, how he provides for them. They eat and they are clothed not by their own hand, but by the hand of God. As a human you are much more important than a pigeon! You are much more important than a pond flower!
Jesus goes on to say that the gentiles, the unbelievers, strive and seek out the things of this world, and your Father in heaven knows that you need them too. In Matthew 5:45 Jesus reminds us that God causes the sun to rise and fall, and the rains to come for both the righteous and the unrighteous. If God cares even for those that still turn their backs to him, how much more will he take care of you, His beloved children whom he has adopted through the Blood of Christ. It is the Lord who provides work and pay and daily bread to all people. A job may come or go, our strength or intellect may fade, but the job, the strength, the intellect is all a gift from God, and He will provide other means if He takes them away.
You can trust that God will provide, because of who He is. He is your loving Heavenly Father who has paid the ultimate price, the death of his Son Jesus Christ, to purchase and win you for himself. If he has paid such a great price, if he has proven his love in such a way, will be not provide and care for you even more than birds and flowers? Or course he will you are His beloved sons and daughters, and He is a kind and good Father. Christ reminds us of this in our text today to help us not be anxious or worry, our future on this earth is secured until the day the LORD has appointed to take us from it to a far better place.
Jesus continues by telling us to “seek first the Kingdom of God, and all of this will be added to you.” Jesus is not saying that if you seek the Kingdom, then God will give provide for your needs as some false teachers proclaim. This is not some kind of contract. Jesus has already said that God provides even for unbelievers, he provides even for pond plants and pigeons.
No, Jesus is saying seek first the Kingdom because the things of this world your Father will already give you. As a Christian you know who God is, and you are now free to trust your Heavenly Father to provide, you are free to focus on something else besides your belly and your bank account.
Jesus says instead of spending all your time and energy seeking food and cloths, and the things of this world, seek the Kingdom of God. Food is eaten and is gone; cloths are worn and wear out. And even the body which needs food and cloths will one day die and return to dust. Food, cloths, money there is nothing inherently wrong with them, they can be blessings, but the things of this world and the pursuit of them cannot be the focus of our life. They will not last, and the Lord will provide what is needed.
Seek instead the Kingdom of God which is eternal Christ tells us. Hunger and seek not for earthly food, but the Bread which comes from Heaven, which is the one who comes down from Heaven and gives his life for the world. Focus not on bread that lasts a meal, but on Christ’s own Body and Blood which gives eternal life to all who receive it. Stive not to be clothed in the latest fashion or to have the latest phone but strive to be clothed in Christ. A garment that was given to you free of charge at your baptism. A garment and that will last eternally and grants entry into Heaven.
In our Gospel reading today, Christ tells us not to worry, not to be anxious. Why? Because our Heavenly Father will provide what is needed. If he is so generous to pigeons and pond plants, and unbelievers, how much more will he care for you his beloved children. He provides what is needed for this life and body, and He has provided his Son so that we may be supplied and cared of forever.
Rev. Andrew Fedder