Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

Luke 12:22-31 "Be Anxious For Nothing"

Introduction: Once again it’s Thanksgiving – yet some are not feeling too thankful. Not that they don’t want to be this way…it’s more complicated then that. What it all boils down to is that there are a number of people living these last days of 2011 in worry and fear. It seems as if there is so much stress to go around these days…mounting bills, a sense of fear of the unknown, of tomorrow, or just needing enough energy to make it through the day. It’s not that we don’t want to be thankful but rather there are some who feel so burdened and burned out by life that they can’t see the forest for the trees, and the bushes, and the brambles, and all other obstacles "in our road". The question that is therefore being asked is "Will God help us?" will He sustain us when life’s twists and turns seems to set us on a course of which there are unforeseen obstacles lurking at every turn? For our text for today we find god’s "Yes" and "Amen"! Of course He will see us through this is what He tells us in His word for today. Jesus reminds us that we need not worry for He is in control. We need not fear for He is able to quiet our panic and fright. Jesus tells us we have nothing to fear.

{1} Do Not Worry

A. About your life—what you will eat.

1. We need not worry because life is more then food. Life is more then merely existing and sustaining our way of living. There is more to life then just living.

2. Jesus reminds us that life is meant to experience God. That is why He has called us to His marvelous light of the Gospel. He called us to belong to Him, to have fellowship with Him. Jesus reminds us in the Gospel of John "I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly. In Him, St. Paul reminds us "we live, and move and have our being". When we seek after Him then we will be doing more then just living from day to day we will live life with a purpose-a divine purpose.
Life is more then food. It is more then fashion as Jesus goes on to explain to us that neither should we become anxious.

B. About your body-what you will wear. Our body is designed to be more then to be a model upon which we don our clothing.

1. The body is more then clothes. This statement is one that is needed to be contemplated today. Tomorrow morning literally thousands of people will flock to the malls to begin the busiest shopping days of the year. True, there is something to be said about dressing appropriately and fashionably but we can take any good thing to extremes. Do we need to buy into the temptation that we should desire the $100 shoes as opposed to the $30 pair which is made of the same material, and assembled at the same factory but the one is more expensive because the product has a certain label on it, or it is indorsed by a certain celebrity. Does the clothing really make the man or woman? Jesus would tell us otherwise.

2. The body is not merely meant for cloths, rather it is meant to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. As the Savior has redeemed us to be His own He now lives within us through His Spirit. Thus by these words we are called to remember that our bodies are meant to be lived with a noble and holy purpose. We are called to live as His people being His witnesses in this world; and in this generation. As we live for Him we are called to trust in Him.

{2} Trust God

A. Consider the Ravens

1. They do not sow, reap, or contribute anything to life.

2. They have no storehouse or barn.

3. Yet God feeds them. He sustains all of the created order.

4. You are of more value then birds! If God is able to sustain even the smallest and the most insignificant of creatures He will sustain you for you are of tremendous value to him. He suffered and died for you. He redeemed and rescued you. He has called you to be His own dear child. Consequently He will sustain and care for you.

B. Consider how the lilies grow.

1. They do not labor.

2. They do not spin.

3. Yet not even Solomon in his entire splendor was dressed as these. If there is inner beauty which comes to the creatures how much more will He maintain your life and sustain it?

C. Consider the grass

1. It’s here today gone tomorrow, like so many things in this "throw away society"

2. You and I, on the other hand. will spend eternity with Christ. Thus the Savior sets for us a pattern of life by which we will find contentment.

a. Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink. In other words, look beyond living only for today.

b. This is what the Pagans run after. They seek the thrill of the moment, which lasts but a moment. Live rather, with an eternal perspective.

c. God already knows you need these things to survive!

3. Seek first, a relationship with Christ in His kingdom.

a. Through word, sacraments, fellowship, prayer draw close to God.

b. As you do these things, all that you need will be added to you. That is the Savior’s promise to you and to me. By Him and through Him He will sustain us.

Conclusion: The Savior is not giving us a simplistic rule for life. It’s not simply going by the phrase "Don’t worry – be happy" Rather He calls us to fear not for He is in control. He’ll fight our fight; He’ll accomplish for us what we can not do. Yes, He is for us; He will overcome and give to us the victory! As we seek Him we will find contentment in life, and there find reasons to rejoice knowing that we can be a peace as God is at peace in what he has created and how He sustains His own creation. Let us then live contented lives on this Thanksgiving Day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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