Sermon For Trinity 15, September 13, 2015 (Matthew 6:24-34)

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and(B) money. 25(C) “Therefore I tell you,(D) do not be anxious about your life.

There is a great temptation to think that we are masters.  But Jesus clears that up as does other texts from Scripture.  We are always servants, always slaves.  The question that the Christian has to ask is, “Who is my master?”

I don’t want this only to be about “Who should be my master?”  We know the answer just like we know how we should talk about others, what we should do with our bodies, how often we should pray, or how much money we should give to the church.  You know that your  “I should’s” don’t always translate into, “I do.”  Rather, let us answer the question, “Why should God be my master rather than money, entertainment, sex, popularity, selfishness, or doing-what-I-want-to-do-when-I-want-to-do-it being my master?”

The simple answer is that these are rather cruel, mean masters.  They bind you.  They tempt you to reap them but they want you to be surprised that you sow what you reap – emptiness, corruption (Gal. 6).  Our Old Testament reading gives us one of the primary emotions of serving money and anything in this life – fear (1 Kings 17:13).    Jesus sums up what we sow when we reap according to the thoughts and pleasures of this world – anxiety (Matt. 6:25), worry, constantly thinking about stuff so that you can’t sleep, your stomach is churning, and you don’t enjoy the present moment because you’re constantly thinking about the future.  Anxiety – a cruel and mean master.

 25(C) “Therefore I tell you,(D) do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?… O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For(J) the Gentiles seek after all these things, and(K) your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

Our temptation is to say, “I’m not worried about what I will drink.  I have a fridge stocked with Diet Coke and Dasani.  But I am worried that I’m not going to get my fair share of salsa at the Mexican restaurant because they always hog the salsa.”

“I’m not worried about what I’m going to eat.  I’ll have something available.  But am I going to like it?  Will I feel full afterwards?  Will I have enough choices?  Is it healthy enough?  Is it junky enough?  Does it fit my diet? Am I going to get it before I die of starvation because I haven’t eaten is like 4 hours?”

“I’m not worried about what I will wear, but I am worried about what she is going to wear.  Is she going to look better than me?  Did you see him have the new iPhone?  I only have the 4Gstuvwxyz – that’s practically like living in the stone age.”

And if you don’t think that you too often serve money, I can tell you the best way to be free of it is to give it away.  Checks are payable to “Mount Calvary Lutheran Church” and we will use it to support the preaching of the gospel and the needs of the poor.

This summarizes what it’s like to serve mammon as our master.  The pleasures of this life (which are mostly fabulous things to enjoy when God is our master) convince us that we need more and more, that it is in fact that we do need it and not only that we want it, but never satisfy.  Worrying about health, money, and anything in the future punishes us in the present with fear, despair, selfishness and ultimately shame and guilt.  The ultimate punishment is that they keep us from worshipping God and having Him as our Master (No one can serve two masters)- the One who actually does provide, does satisfy, does love us back.

But Jesus, knowing us, doesn’t only say, “Don’t worry.”  Instead, he says, “Don’t worry about your life – I’ll provide.  Have I not done it before?  The jar of my provision for you and your family will not run dry until the proper time.  Instead of seeking after those things, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Instead of worrying about life, worry about God’s righteousness and the kingdom of God.  Then He tell us that the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is ours 13 (The Father) has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col. 2).  Instead of being anxious about life, be anxious about praying – do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Phil. 4:6).  If you want to worry, worry about sitting and hearing the voice of Your master who bears your burdens with you.  41  “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:41-42).”  Instead of thinking about what you’re going to eat, meditate on what you are about to eat.  Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34).  His righteousness is given into your mouth and the Kingdom of God comes in you.  Worrying doesn’t add a thing, but our Good Master and Your Father provides everything and promises that those who fear Him have no lack (Psalm 34).  No one can serve two masters.  Serve the One who serves You back with His love and gifts.  Amen.

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